A stray dog named ‘Lilo’ was discovered wandering with a note attached to her leash, revealing a heartbreaking story


A stray dog named Lilo was brought to the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sunday by a Good Samaritan who found her wandering with a note attached to her collar. The note revealed a heartbreaking reason for Lilo’s abandonment, raising questions about why her owner didn’t seek help from a rescue organization instead of leaving the dog behind.


The staff of McKamey Animal Center, who were deeply affected by Lilo’s story, posted a message on their Facebook page addressed to her previous owner. They reassured her that Lilo will be well taken care of and loved.

A Note To Lilo’s Mom:

Lilo arrived at MAC a few days ago after a Good Samaritan found her wandering with her leash still attached, likely near where you left her. We are so sorry that you had to make the decision to leave her behind. We know many folks are struggling to care for their pets right now. We know how hard it must be to give up an animal you so clearly loved because you can’t provide the care she needs. We understand.

We want you to know she is safe, and we will take the very best care of her. She will be loved by our staff and volunteers, we will keep her name, and we promise you we will do our best to find her a wonderful new home. But if you are reading this, we hope you will come forward to reclaim her. We will help you with whatever you need to care for her, to the best of our ability. Lilo definitely misses you, and we would like nothing more than to see her go back to the family she loves. Either way, please know that we understand, we will not judge, and we are here to help in any way we can.

Edit: We would like to add that we are well connected with resources and agencies who are ready and willing to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
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Lilo was found with the note pictured here attached to her collar. While we understand what and why Lilo’s mom did what she did, we wish that she had come to us first for resources and help. We’re here to help and we want to see people and their pets stay together, no matter the circumstance.

We offer a community pet food pantry for when times are tough, low-cost (and sometimes free!) vaccines, microchips, and spay/neuter services. We also have lots of self-rehoming resources available for situations like these – you can see them here: mckameyanimalcenter.org/rehome-a-pet/ .

We want Chattanooga to be a community where pets are truly family, not just for the economically privileged, but for everyone. That means reaching out a hand of support to your neighbors, donating to emergency care funds like MAC’s Angel Fund, spreading the word about low-cost and free services, and supporting the lifesaving work MAC and other local organizations are doing every day. Please understand that as hard as we try, MAC cannot do it all alone, we need the community’s support — we need your support. ❤️

Please do NOT abandon your pet! Abandoning an animal is illegal, but more importantly, it should never have to be an option. We thank you for all your ongoing support, and appreciate the patience and kindness many of you have shown us during this national sheltering crisis. If you need help with your pet, please call us at (423) 305-6500 or visit our website for resources at www.mckameyanimalcenter.org .

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