Man Chooses Homelessness Rather Than Abandon Pit Bull


Dave Antonucci is a homeless man living by the side of some railroad tracks in Linden, New Jersey.  He cannot find a proper place to live because of his dog Petey, who is a pit bull.  Dave says Petey is his son, and he’d rather be homeless than give him up.

Dave has been out on the streets for a long time.  People remember seeing Dave pushing Petey in a cart when he was only a puppy, and he is almost two now.

“He walks the streets all day, and if nobody offers him a place, he sleeps on the side of the tracks,” says Bob Scutro, who started a fundraiser for them.  “They walk many miles a day, as can be seen by Petey’s shape and feet.”


Though Dave receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he cannot be accepted into an assisted living program as long as Petey is with him.  The same goes for any homeless shelters in the area.  He has already lost everything else, and refuses to give up his family member.

“We’ve been together day and night, ever since I’ve gotten him,” Dave told News 12 New Jersey. “He’s like my son. You know, ‘cause I don’t have no kids in life.”

Thankfully, there are many fine people in this world who are willing to help.  Bob and other good Samaritans are collecting clothing, food, and other supplies for the pair.  One person said:


“I met Dave last night at the Walmart in Linden…. I had brought over dog food, milk bones (which Petey tore through in five minutes), and an old dog bed so Petey wouldn’t have to sit on the cold ground… spoke to Dave for a good hour, then went in Walmart… got Dave some food and Petey some dog toys.  I then loaded them in my car and drove them to where he was supposed to stay last night, but no one was there.  Now on a mission… called Robert C Scutro, his original advocate, and we both started making calls. Thanks to Maria Lynn we secured him a temporary place to stay; this picture is Petey enjoying his new toys in a warm place to stay.  Keep sharing and please donate if you can… when people come together, we can do amazing things!”


The main goal is to get them into a home where Petey can stay while Dave works, but for now, temporary housing is the first priority.  He would be more than happy to rent someone’s basement or garage.  But Bob says the fundraiser’s aim is to get Dave into a place where the rent will be covered for a year, long enough to get him back on his feet.  Bob was kind enough to bring them in for a night.

“The next morning when I walked in and saw Dave and Petey warm and sound asleep on the couch with their arms around each other, not even knowing I was there, it made me know it was the right thing.”

Dave has not asked for any of this himself.  He is more concerned about making sure that his boy – who is fairly healthy – is well cared for.  There are plans for Petey to be fully vetted on Monday.

Dave has basic skills and can do yard work to earn money.  He just wants to be self-sufficient again, and is overwhelmed by all the visitors and help he and Petey are receiving.

UPDATE : After a local news broadcast, a number of friends who had fallen out of touch got in contact with Dave.  There were nearly 50 offers of places to live – from New Jersey to California – but Dave politely declined, because now, along with Petey, he is staying with one of his friends in his hometown of Rahway, NJ.  Bob – the man who started the fundraiser – is still considering what to do with all the excess donations.  He may return them, or perhaps give them to another worthy cause.


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        • georgiypotulov

          Cia Pemberton, that is really nice of you. Although I think you may find this quote interesting: “Charity is the filthiest invention of the human mind: first you steal what belongs to everyone; then you use the policeman and the atom bomb to protect it. You give charity to prevent the have-nots from rebelling against you. It also makes you feel less guilty. All do-gooders feel ‘high’ when they do good.”
          —U. G. Krishnamurti

          • georgiypotulov

            No, I never said people are supposed to care what Krishnamurti thinks, I was more-so talking about the quote itself and not the person who wrote it.. Also, he is in the ‘Not knowing’ state. He knows for certain that there is no self to realize. That mind is a myth. FYI: The bible was written by man.. And I never said anything about him knowing more than Jesus.. Sounds like you want others to care about your God..

          • Brent Griffith

            I think people should care about “Alice’s God” since we are supposed to be a Christian Nation. Jesus said that whatever we do for people like this we do unto Him so yes this guy and his dog are a great cause.

          • georgiypotulov

            No, what I meant by that is that she is playing the game “My God has a bigger dick than your god’ by saying who cares what krishnamurti said, ‘but hey.. listen to what MY God has to say’… And what I am saying here is, just because the person isn’t credible by the public doesn’t mean that their writing may not be influential. So maybe its good for one to look at the writing itself rather than saying who cares what this person has to say just because they aren’t Jesus or the bible.. That is narrow minded at best.

          • georgiypotulov

            Nvm, I am not going to waste my time on here trying to convey my point since this page is filled with ignorant christian followers. And FYI, before you go on your attack, I have no problem with Christians since I have many christian friends.. I have problems with people who follow blindly without really looking at things for and by themselves.

  1. Mary Shockley

    Now thats what I call love and devotion.Rather be homeless then part with Petey,which is his family.Thank You to everybody who donated to this worth while cause and now Petey and his master are staying where its nice and warm.Thanks to everyone who gave Dave and Petey a CHRISTMAS!!!!! All the toys,food and bed for Petey.U r a handsome PIT.Lots of loves to Dave and Petey!!!!!

  2. Sir Merwin's Mom

    What a refreshing story about pit bulls and LOVE!! This man is a true pet owner!!! I will keep him and his dog in my prayers!! I’m against all animal abuse and there is so much right now GREAT STORY.I am glad friends of his have stepped up.Wishing them both a great,happy,loving new year!!!

  3. jason

    I did the same thing for my pitbull. I completely understand. I made it off the street this summer, after my wife left me I got lucky enough to find a great woman who was able to take me and my 3 dogs, even though they had one of there own and two kids. Unfortunately we just moved into a apartment that new we had our dogs and let us in with them, then decided to make us give up 3 of them or face homelessness with 2 kids. The pit is a service dog and our other 3 we was working on getting them the status. When we was told we had just 14 days to find them new homes. So as you can see I understand.

  4. Tammy Diaz

    The nan who started the fundraiser said there are excess funds and he is trying to decide what to do with the money. Well….give it to Dave & Petey, after all people donated to them! Who cares if it is more than needed…..that’s a great thing!

  5. Robert C Scutro

    Dave and friends got greedy and backdoor a paypal and a account to try yo profit off his story that is why all money and donations are being returned. BECAUSE OF THERE GREED.HERE IS THERE NEW SCAM// DONATE AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIS IS FOR DAVE DONT BE FOOLED. YOUCARING SEEN THE PROOF AND AGREED TO REFUND ALL. SHARE AND MAKE SURE NOBODY

  6. daisydukes333

    Dave, if you choose not to keep the donations, please consider giving them to a local animal shelter. Plenty of animals aren’t as lucky as your own.

  7. axlehme

    I pray “vetted” means neutered because that is THE most important task for Petey(and if Dave has already done so TY!!!!). Glad he has his dog.

  8. Marcus Stukeley

    Why not, with the extra money that has been donated, start a place where people CAN stay with their pets. Most of these dogs are some of the most well behaved and adjusted around. They should never have to be split up. Perhaps these places could also be a refuge for their dogs whilst they go to work. They could and would, probably take jobs knowing their friends are safe to collect later.

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