Steve fell on hard times and was left homeless in California back in 2001. Living rough on the streets, he found friendship with those not unlike himself – stray dogs.
Understanding their situation, Steve took into his care every stray dog that he came across. That’s despite how little has has to give, he gave everything he had – caring for over 150 dogs in the past 14 years.
A friend in Indiana recently offered to help him, but Steve would need to travel halfway across the USA without a car and with a family of dogs in tow.
While many people would have made the difficult decision to leave the pups behind, the thought never crossed Steve’s mind. Instead, he made a dog-carrying cart out of a wagon and attached it to his bike.
With eleven dogs along for the ride, and just six dollars in his pocket, he embarked on his 2,000 mile journey.
But Steve’s kindness towards these animals quickly rubbed off on others; he soon met individuals wanting to assist him along the way.
First there was Alicia Edrington, who felt inclined to stop after she spotted him biking through West Memphis, Arkansas. Alicia says:
“On Thursday July 23rd as I was heading home from town, I passed an individual who was heading toward West Memphis Arkansas on his bicycle carrying a cart behind him. As I got closer to him I noticed that he was carrying several dogs in the trailer behind him and appeared to be having a hard time pedaling. With a screaming baby in the backseat I kept driving home the whole way there the only thing that crossed my mind was those dogs. I knew I would have to return to town within the hour so I told myself if I happen to see him again.
God must have put this man on that road at that time for a reason because as I was returning to town i saw him. As I got closer I put on my flashers and slowed down to ask him to come across the road to a business because I had something for him. Once over there I introduced myself and he instantly started telling me all the fur babies names without even introducing himself.”
Alicia knew that a big storm was coming and Steve would be in trouble out in the open. She put Steve and his canine family up in a hotel for the night. In the meantime, Alicia reached out to her mother, Mickey, who in turn reached out to her animal loving friends for help. Within hours, hundreds of people had offered a helping hand.
The West Memphis Animal Shelter donated 100 pounds of dog food. Others contributed leashes and collars.
Hearing this inspiring tale, Kelley Seaton, an animal lover from Tennessee, offered to drive the bunch to their final destination!
And when they finally reached Indianapolis, the family had something new — a home! A kind person who heard about their story donated a trailer so that Steve and his crew would have a proper place to live.
Now, all of the animals are being neutered, sprayed and vaccinated and a GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. Already, the campaign has raised over $18,000!
The generosity of strangers helped Steve make his way home. But Steve’s kindness — towards both animals and humans — forever changed his helpers too. As they often say in the rescue community, “who rescued who?”
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