Lilo’s story captured the hearts of many. MAC says they had a desire to reunite the family. They did not expect the process of finding shelter to take this much time. But, they hope they will be rehoused next week.

“We got the update yesterday that they’re working with a private landlord right now. As early as potentially next week, they’ll be moved in.

Director of Advancement at MAC, Lauren Mann, says they have their fingers and paws crossed.

“We have really had our eyes opened here at McKamey about just how crazy working through the system of trying to navigate homelessness has really been,” says Mann.

Mann says this experience has taught her so much about the community’s needs. She has met with the Chattanooga Homeless Coalition, as well as other organizations, to learn more. Mann says it takes more than 580 days for the average person experiencing homelessness to be re-housed. With children and pets involved, this time increases.

“We’re really grateful to have been given a seat at the table to be able to help more pets and people,” Mann says.

Mann says they are glad to offer help to Lilo’s family, and they will continue their efforts.

In honor of Lilo’s story, they have created the MAC Cares Fund to prevent families from being separated from their pets.

“We've always done what we can to help people and our pets stay together but this has really brought to light the true need in the community,” Mann says.

She hopes the fund will help people come together to help those in need, and for people to know they can receive assistance.

Mann says when the family and Lilo were reunited for the first time, there was not a dry eye in the room. She anticipates the same emotions when the family is reunited for good.

As they continue their efforts, Mann checks in with the owner often. She says the family is doing okay, and they receive several pictures of Lilo.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to help everyone, but we also need everyone’s help to do that,” Mann says.

If you would like to donate, or if you need assistance with resources, visit McKamey Animal Center’s website or call them at 403-305-6500.

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