Mr. Williams walked into an animal shelter in metro Atlanta on Friday afternoon with a heavy heart. His best friend, Lucky, walked faithfully by his side, no idea what was in store.
The pair had been evicted from their home earlier in the day. As Gwinnett County Animal Welfare employee Katie Corbett wrote on Facebook, "His dad has no family, no money and only the belongings that he could fit in the back seat of his car (because Lucky rides shotgun in the front seat). With tears in his eyes — and quite frankly, everyone else's — Lucky’s dad made the difficult decision to surrender his best friend of 14 years to the shelter today."
Fast-thinking shelter workers were able to get Williams a hotel room so he wouldn't have to sleep in his car. But that night, Lucky had to spend the first night of his life in a shelter.
"Lucky's dad knows that he could get adopted or rescued," Corbett wrote. "In fact, he would be ecstatic if somebody could rescue his boy from a loud, stressful environment. He understands that risk. But what would be even better is if we could find a foster to keep Lucky while his dad gets back on his feet so that we could be able to reunite them ... Help us help Lucky."
Corbett's Facebook post immediately made the rounds. It was shared nearly 2,000 times by rescue workers and volunteers, by veterinarians and by animal lovers. Soon there were offers for everything from dog food and vet care to monetary donations and foster offers.
A community rallies
It turns out Lucky only had to spend one night in the shelter. He had a foster home by the very next day where he has some canine pals, is enjoying some pretty amazing-looking meals and is already relaxing on the back deck and dozing on fluffy dog beds.
Williams can visit as often as he likes, but Lucky is safe and welcome to stay as long as he wants until his dad gets back on his feet.
With the word spreading about Lucky's dad, the community has really rallied around this duo.
Corbett's new Facebook update — written just over 24 hours after her original post — happily announced that Williams is getting meals delivered to his hotel room all week. One group has offered Lucky dog food for the rest of his life and another has offered basic lifetime vet care. Offers have poured in for clothing, shoes, gas cards and job resources for Lucky's dad.
Because so many people have asked how to donate, Corbett set up a GoFundMe page, primarily to help the pair find housing. Williams is disabled and can't do much manual work according to the site, but is willing to work.
"I continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for this family," Corbett posted.
"Yesterday when Lucky’s dad was saying goodbye to him, he looked him in the face and said, 'We were young when we came together. Now we're both old men. Be a good boy, Lucky. I’ll be back for you.' I can't get that image or those words out of my head. I don't know how we're going to do it, but we are getting this family back together."