Stranger helps reunite IE man with dog that was taken away


It all started when he was arrested last Friday for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations.

Police called animal control to take his 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz to the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.

Thomas was told his dog was considered a stray, and to get Buzz back, he needed to pay more than $400 in shelter fees. He had only $6 in his pocket.

"At least half of that by the 20th and it's going to go to the adoption-type thing, and if no one picks him up three days after that, he's gone," Thomas said.

Maria Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, was at the shelter at the time and snapped a picture of a sad-looking Thomas who couldn't afford to rescue his pooch.

"He was pouring water into his dog's water bowl, his dog sat there and licked up the water for about a minute, he sat down next to him and started weeping," Sanchez said.

Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help Thomas get his dog back. The problem was, Sanchez had no idea who he was, or where to find him. She posted flyers in the community but to no avail, that was until Monday night when Eyewitness News tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.

"Everything is taken care of," she told him over the phone. "The dog is going to be fully vetted, we're going to get him microchipped."

"God bless you darling," he told Sanchez.

Sanchez says she will use her online donations to pay for Thomas to get his dog back. Tuesday at 10 a.m., the two plan meet at the shelter so Thomas can be reunited with his best friend Buzz.

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