In 2001, Steve fell on hard times and was left homeless in California. Living out on the streets, he found companionship in those not unlike himself— stray dogs.
Understanding their plight, Steve took into his care every stray dog that he came across. Despite the fact that he had to little to give, he gave everything he had— caring for over 150 dogs over the past fourteen years.
A friend in Indiana recently offered to lend him a hand, but it would require him traveling halfway across the country without a car and with a family of dogs in tow.
While many would have made the difficult decision to leave the pups behind, the thought never crossed Steve’s mind. Instead, he fashioned a dog-carrying cart out of a wagon and attached it to his bike.
With eleven dogs along for the ride, and 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 found individuals wanting to assist him along the way.
First there was Alicia Edrington, who felt inclined to stop after she spotted him pedaling through West Memphis, Arkansas.
In part of a Facebook post, she writes:
“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 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.
And knowing that a storm was coming — and summer storms in Arkansas are no joke — they decided to put Steve and his family up in a hotel for the night.
For their part, the West Memphis Animal Shelter donated 100 pounds of dog food. Others contributed leashes and collars.
Hearing this inspiring tale, an animal lover from Tennessee, Kelley Seaton, 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 had heard 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 aGoFundMe page has been set up for the family. Already, the campaign has raised over $8,000.
The selflessness of strangers helped Steve make his way home. But Steve’s kindness — towards animals and humans alike — forever changed his helpers too. So as they say in the rescue community, “who rescued who?”