NJ Woman Helps Homeless Man Who Won’t Give Up His Dog

A New Jersey good Samaritan helps a homeless man who couldn’t find a shelter that would let him keep his dog. Susan McGrath was grabbing some breakfast at a Berkeley, New Jersey, McDonald’s this weekend when she saw a homeless man and his dog sitting out in the freezing rain. McGrath, a pet parent herself, couldn’t just stand by and leave the pair out in the cold. “I ordered six breakfast sandwiches for him and the dog,” she says. “I pulled around front, got out of the car, started talking to him, and he started to cry.”

The man’s name was Dustin Maggard and he and his dog Surfer Baby came to New Jersey two years ago from Florida. Surfer Baby was named in honor of Maggard’s late fiancée who was killed in a horrific car crash in 2014, after which Maggard became deeply depressed. Friends gave him a puppy to help him recover and he and Surfer Baby have been inseparable ever since. He moved to New Jersey to reunite with his teenage son, but a dispute with his son’s mother forced Maggard on to the streets. Unable to find a shelter that would allow him to keep Surfer Baby, he found some blankets and set up camp behind a dumpster.

After McGrath talked to Maggard, she went home and posted about the encounter on a neighborhood Facebook page. She then went back to help Maggard find a place to stay only to find some of her neighbors already there with warm clothes for him. McGrath made some calls and set Maggard and Surfer Baby up in a motel for four nights. She updated the post on Facebook and pretty soon several people were pitching in to help out Maggard and his dog. Dozens of strangers delivered so much food and other goods to the hotel that Maggard was blown away by all the generosity. “Susan has been amazing — what a godsend,” he says. “The whole community came together. I am so happy and blessed.” He says a friend in Tennessee has offered to take him and Surfer Baby in, and McGrath is already looking for a way to help him get there.

Source: Asbury Park Press

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