Steve is homeless, but his situation did not stop him from helping stray animals.
Being homeless is not easy. Every single day you need to think about how you could get through with your basic needs, but Steve is different. For him, family comes first, and when he says family, he is talking about his 11 stray dogs.
It is not your typical family or the ideal set up for one too. Steve and his 11 dogs have been together through tough times, but never did he think about leaving them behind nor surrendering them. He held onto them as much as they held on to him. They were his family, and he loved them with all his heart.
Steve’s story went viral last 2015, but until today, many still feel that his story is definitely worth sharing.
For 20 years, Steve has been living on the streets. He learned that life was hard, but never did he think about giving up. In fact, in his journey, he was able to meet so many friends, learn life lessons, and of course, he was able to meet local stray dogs that needed help as much as he did.
For more than twenty years, Steve has been living a homeless life, but his heart was rich with love and affection from all the love he receives from his family.
One day, Steve decided to travel to Indiana so he could visit a friend. Of course, there’s no way he would leave his extended family behind, so he took all his belongings and merged an old bike together with a shopping cart.
Steve and his dogs didn’t have the money or the luxury for a comfortable journey, but they were complete. He and his 11 dogs started to embark on a journey that would give way to an awesome story.
One day, Alicia Edrington of West Memphis Animal Shelter noticed Steve and his adorable family. She couldn’t leave without approaching him, and there, she was able to meet a man with a kind heart.
According to Steve, he has already pedaled about 2000 miles with his family, and for him, their journey continued. Alicia was overwhelmed with the man’s story, as well as his love and devotion to his dogs.
Touched by his amazing story, Alicia said that she wanted to help. She asked for his permission to post his story online, and from there, it all began.
Alicia’s father, Mickey, then set up a GoFundMe page, and quickly, people were touched by their story and started helping.
The first step that they took was to make sure that they had a comfortable evening. They stayed in a pet-friendly motel where they were able to eat a warm meal and sleep comfortably.
Alicia and the local shelter knew that this was just the beginning and that they needed a long term plan to help this man. Among them would be the health and well-being of the dogs.
They needed to think about the cost of:
- spay/neuter operations
- flea/tick medication
- dog food
- Steve’s food
- Steve’s clothing and toiletries
According to Steve’s story that was posted online by Kelley Seaton, there were many comments about disagreeing with their plan to provide for Steve and his family of dogs. For them, it’s better to just rescue the dogs and give them a better home, to which Kelley replied:
“Rescues are already overwhelmed everywhere. Removing these animals from their guardian, a guardian who obviously loves them more than anything and who is willing to give up things for himself in order for them to have what they need, would not only negatively affect them but this man as well. He is their whole life, and they are his. Not every situation in ‘rescue’ warrants the automatic removal of the animals. There will also be instances when ‘rescue’ also means helping guardians to be able to keep their animals. “
Wouldn’t it be heartbreaking to remove Steve’s family from him just because he’s homeless?
With this, Alicia and all the people who got involved with Steve’s journey did their best to support this man’s simple dream – to be with his dogs.
Kind-hearted Tennessee woman, Kelley Seaton offered to drive Steve and his family to Indiana, free of charge. There, Steve met with the kind team from Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative or SOAR.
They planned everything from helping Steve get a job to taking care of his dogs. His lovely dogs were also vaccinated and neutered. One of the donors also gave Steve a trailer of his own – a home for him and his family.
Mickey and his daughter Alicia were so happy to announce that their GoFundMe post surpassed their goal and an update from Mickey from their GoFundMe account said:
“I’m proud to be making this post announcing several new things in Steve life. 1st they are now in a home of their own in Indianapolis along with all of their furbabies. Steve & Volena have both become legal Indiana residents as both have passed the dvm requirements to obtain driving license.”
What a lovely ending to this man’s journey! It teaches us so many life lessons, and that we should always learn to love unconditionally. These dogs didn’t care if Steve was homeless because they were family.
To the people who donated, those who helped Steve and his dogs, it’s awesome to see these people gather together to help a man who only wishes to be with his family. Truly, it was a happy ending for all of them.
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