A picture worth 400 bucks — and more
While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter