Good Samaritan gets homeless veteran and his dog out of bitter cold

RACINE (WITI) -- The bitterly cold is dangerous, and can prove deadly -- and that is especially true for the homeless. There are shelters available for the homeless that save lives on bitterly cold nights, but if you are homeless with a pet, you have very limited options. Shelters may not allow pets, as one man discovered. However, getting rid of his pet wasn't an option, so a generous woman helped them both.

FOX6 News has learned police responded to a Speedway gas station, located near 21st and Green Bay in Racine. There, they caught up with a man and his best friend, sitting in the freezing cold.

"(The dog) was shivering. There was desperation on her face. He was like, 'I'm doing okay. I'm worried about the dog,'" Beth David said.

So, a woman helped to get two in need out of the single digits, and into a warm apartment.

The man named Pat says he is a disabled Marine and is homeless. He says he was determined to save the life of "Lady" -- an 11-year-old Terrier mix.

Beth David runs the website Racine Uncovered, and happened to hear the call for police help -- and took it upon herself to put out a call for housing help -- a call that was answered.

"There are no homeless shelters for people with animals. They said 'anybody that serves our country is more than welcome,'" David said.

Pat had a place to stay, and after David posted his story on Facebook -- the room that once held only his cart, some clothing and a canine would hold much more.

"Treats, toys, toiletries, clothing, blankets, a TV. It's a hand up. It'll give him a chance to get back on his feet," David said.

Two lives chilled to the bone are now warmed through the generosity of others.

David estimates there are dozens of cases like this each year. If you know of one and are concerned about their welfare, you can contact the police and ask them to perform a welfare check. That's the first step if additional help is needed.