Lynda is a precious human filled with compassion and love. She has been on the streets for a long time. Too long! The life of homelessness for a woman is extremely stressful. Lynda drinks and she has a mental illness. That doesn’t make her any less of a person.
Let me start at the beginning. I was on the phone with a friend that works in San Francisco’s homeless services. We started talking about Twitter. He told me about a video he saw online of a woman whose first dog was killed and then her second dog was stolen. He then sent me a link to this tweet:
This is Linda. #She is #homeless Linda has an #emotionalsupportanimal #BuddytheDog Linda trusted a friend 2 #help her #dog in an emergency & give #Buddy back. They are refusing to #ReturnBuddytheDog Please #help & #share #SanFrancisco #HomelessRights #homeless pic.twitter.com/mTDd5VDhZM
— Ang Barron (@barron_ang) May 17, 2019
I contacted the woman who posted the video. Angela shared a little more of the story over Twitter along with this link to a news story about the man charged with a felony for killing Lynda’s first dog: Man charged with felony in brutal kicking death of dog caught on camera
I called Angela this morning. Angela is amazing. I wish more housed people would adopt their homeless neighbors as Angela has. When Angela first encountered Lynda and her dog, she was concerned about Lynda and if she would be able to take care of the pet. Over time, Angela saw how much Lynda loved and took care of her dog. Something else happened, Angela and Lynda became friends.
Lots of people love animals. It’s common to hear people complain about homeless people who have pets thinking the dog or cat is not being cared for. The real truth is, homeless people often take better care of their pets than housed people. The other issue that needs attention so there are people who care more about animals than homeless people. I like dogs too but humans, YES HUMAN BEINGS, must always take priority over animals. If you care more about a dog or cat sleeping outside than a homeless person, you really need to readjust your thinking because that’s all kinds of wrong!
Lynda eventually got another puppy. His name is Buddy. Lynda loved and took good care of Buddy. Bathrooms are a serious challenge for homeless people. Lynda needed to use a bathroom and asked a friend to watch Buddy. As puppies do, Buddy got into some turpentine that was laying around. Lynda tried to contact Angela but Angela was away. Lynda then took Buddy to another friend who has helped her watch Buddy in the past. This friend took Buddy to the vet but then refused to give Buddy back to Lynda.
Some of you probably think that’s a good thing. It is not! Lynda needed Buddy, and Buddy loves Lynda. Even the veterinarian told the person to give Buddy back to Lynda. Buddy was loved and well taken care of. Probably better than most dogs! Just because someone doesn’t have a home that doesn’t mean they cannot love and care for their pets.
At the time of this interview, the police were involved, but Lynda still did not have Buddy. About an hour ago Anglea let me know that San Francisco Police contacted her and Buddy will be returned to Lynda tomorrow morning.
I wish I could say that’s a happen ending, but Lynda is in desperate need of housing. You do not have to be a social worker to know she is vulnerable. We need to get her and all the other homeless people in San Francisco off the streets and into housing with the support services they need. To do that, we need you to advocate for your homeless neighbors. Click here to contact your state and federal legislators.
UPDATE from San Francisco Police Department:
We are very happy to report an investigation to find #Buddythedog & get him back to his rightful owner after 26 days ended tonight. He is safe and in good hands. Special Thx to ?@SFPDChief? ?@SFACC? ?@JeffKositsky? ?@barron_ang? & TL Station SIT Team. pic.twitter.com/o4YkOop2cR
— SFPD Tenderloin (@SFPDTenderloin) June 3, 2019