A homeless man desperately searching for his lost dog slept outside of the DeKalb County Animal Shelter earlier this month in hope of finding Tita. The two were joyously reunited. HANDOUT

Homeless man sleeps outside DeKalb shelter to find beloved dog

A homeless man was reunited with the dog he had bottle-fed since she was a puppy, thanks to caring LifeLine at DeKalb County Animal Services Shelter workers.

Jarvis Smith, a kennel tech, at the shelter’s Decatur location arrived at work early one morning in mid-August to find  a man curled up and sleeping outside.

The unidentified man said he was searching for his brown Chihuahua named Tita. 

The shelter, though,  was in the process of opening another location on Peachtree-Chamblee Road, about 10 miles away. 

Tita wasn’t at the Decatur location, but perhaps she might be at the new facility.

So Smith gave him enough money to get there, said Shelter Director Kerry Moyers-Horton.

“He was crying, he was upset,” said Moyers-Horton. “He was obviously devastated.”


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He was overjoyed when he learned Tita was safe at the Chamblee shelter.

 It was an emotional reunion, in which the man dropped to ground to hug Tita, who wagged her tail furiously at seeing her human. A video was filmed by staffers and it has since gone viral.

“All he wanted was his dog back and, obviously, she was just as happy to see him.”

The man said Tita “was his life.

"He was crying, she was crying,” said Moyers-Horton. “We were all crying.”

Tita, a young adult dog, was in good shape , well fed and clean when found. The man had a picture ID as well as photos of Tita on his cell phone. Everything matched up and the two were reunited.

Moyers-Horton waived all reclaim fees for the man. Tita received her rabies shot,  flea treatment, a new harness, collar and leash.

“It was special,” she said. Moyers-Horton said the shelter has about 80 to 100  similar reunions betwen pets and their owners each month.

LifeLine Animal Project offered to help him with dog food and veterinary care. rabies before left that day and eveytig reice regular vaccinaiton, flea preventive

Moyer-Horton said the man was from out West and was headed back there. 

She didn’t know where, but one thing is for sure, he won’t be traveling alone.

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