"You could see the joy in his face when they were reunited. It was wonderful. The joy for both of them was palpable. It lifted everyone’s spirit to see it. Love is love, no matter who it’s coming from," Hirsch said. "He probably puts the dog first in his life, because without her he doesn’t have anything."
The shelter waived their normal fees for the man, and the pair were offered assistance should they need it in the future. Recently, DeKalb County Animal Services launched an outreach program to help homeless people in the region care for their companion animals.
"Some people don’t understand giving a pet back to a homeless person, but some of those people take better care of their pets than some of us with homes," Hirsch said. "If you see a homeless person with a pet, and are hesitant to give them money, you can give them dog food, or even flea medicine. They also need bottles of water. Just basic supplies that humans and dogs can use. Their pet is sometimes the only thing they have in their lives."