Chicago Panhandler Reunited With Dog


Tom Finley hasn’t been able to sleep or eat for the past two weeks. His dog, Reba, had been missing since September 7. But now, this well known Chicago panhandler can finally get a night of peaceful sleep because he has been reunited with his beloved Reba.

A woman turned in the dog to the Anti-Cruelty Society on Saturday. A spokeswoman at the Anti-Cruelty Society said the woman who returned Reba was in tears and simply handed the workers there the dog. Employees at the shelter didn’t ask her any questions or identify the woman because they promised if Reba was returned, no questions would be asked.

Finley said he has already forgiven the woman, if she was even the one who took his dog. He thanked the woman for bringing back Reba to him.

A reward for Reba’s return was offered to the woman, but she refused to take the reward. The money will be given to Finley instead. The amount was set two weeks ago at $500, but the amount has grown with donations to an undisclosed amount.

Finley said: “I’d be lost without her. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

The Anti Cruelty Society has offered Reba a lifetime of free veterinary care. Her first appointment will be this Tuesday.

For the past two weeks, Finley had been passing out fliers and looking all over for Reba. Chicago residents also aided Finley in his search. Office workers printed up fliers of Reba, and a woman gave him a prepaid cell phone. He said hundreds of people called him claiming to have spotted Reba.

Finley said he and Reba would have a great buffet to celebrate their reunion.

Welcome back, Reba.

Source: Chicago Tribune

(Thanks Christine)

16 Responses to “Chicago Panhandler Reunited With Dog”

  1. kathyb says:

    I get so weary of tales of animal abuse. This one brought tears (of happiness) to my eyes. There are so many good people involved in this & other “happy ending” stories. I celebrate them all!

  2. Nancy G. says:

    I’m glad the woman who took the dog did the right thing and returned it, but really, she had no right to just walk off with someone else’s pet/ property because the care didn’t meet her standards. If the dog was truly bad-off, she could have called the authorities. At least it ended well, and what a difference between the vet clinic who will give this old pup free medical care, and that other stinky vet we have been talking about here, who only cared about money.

  3. pat says:

    i think this is a case of a truly kind person who thought that this dog needed help. all’s well that ends well; thank goodeness Reba was taken by somebody who was trying to help her rather than someone with less altrustic intentions.

  4. Lynn says:

    Whether or not this woman was the person who actually took the dog from Mr. Finley, it took a huge act of courage for her to turn the dog in.

    I agree, Pat, it does sound like someone thought she would be doing the dog a favor, but then perhaps saw the news and how bereft Mr. Finley was. If this is what went down, then the woman is a very compassionate soul.

    So this brings up the issue about how you can help a homeless person’s pet. I’ll bet you can pre-pay the cost of a veterinary check up or an office visit or vaccinations or whatever and get a coupon of sorts from the vet to give to the homeless individual. Better suggestions?

    Remember - for many of the homeless, the pet is the only family they have.

  5. Phoebe says:

    An awesome ending to this story! Now, hopefully, someone in Chicago will help Mr. Finley see to it that Reba only eats safe dog food. That is, if she eats dog food, at all. If she doesn’t, she may be healthier. Anyway, I’m just a bit worried that all of the well-deserved sympathy the two have received may include dog food donations from well-wishers - and they would probably run the gamut of brands/varieties and safety. God help them if a company like Menu/Purina/Science Diet/whatever decides to score some PR points and donates free food to Reba for life.

  6. Lynn says:

    God forbid!

  7. elizabeth says:

    The story was all over the TV news last night. I am so thrilled. But, I don’t think poor Reba was too happy with the Anti Cruelty society Logo T-shirt they put on her and made her model as its new “poster dog”.

  8. karen says:

    I too believe the woman thought the dog would be in a better situation. And she probably was ler’s hope the dog is checked in on during the coming months.

  9. straybaby says:

    “it does sound like someone thought she would be doing the dog a favor,”

    generally, people who steal dogs from owners who they feel aren’t taking *proper* care of a dog are not kind nor are they doing the dog a favor in most cases. they are really thinking only of themselves and their egos. i don’t care WHAT they say. a truly kind person would be checking in and making sure the owner had what they needed to care for their much loved pet. if an animal really needs help and an owner refuses, you get the authorities involved. you don’t steal the pet.

  10. nora says:

    Phoebe, you brought up a very important point here about any dog food that might be donated or purchased for Reba. I to am hoping that someone who is truly responsible and informed will make sure that Reba only eats what is healthy instead of dog foods that SAY they are healthy but are really slow deaths in a can or bag. On the other hand I am overjoyed that Reba is safe and was not hurt in any way during her abduction.

  11. Vettech says:

    I also hope that the Humane Society does not pump her full of deadly vaccines on her visit on Tuesday. This will be the sure death of this old dog. On the website they said she does have problems, lets hope they try diagnostics and bloodwork and not just start pumping in disease and posions…..
    Also I hope that maybe a healthy pet food company would donate maybe some coupons for free bags of food that the gentleman could get food with. If you read the website he lives in a small apartment that he pays for with social security checks and makes extra money peddling on the corners. He loves that dog and I am glad she is back

  12. Trudy Jackson says:

    YEAH, I’m so glad she is back with Him where She belongs.

  13. Lorri says:

    even people that are poor or down on their luck deserve pets. So what if some people can only afford to feed their pets shoprite food instead of innova. None of us have the right to judge until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
    poor people need companionship too, and while the taker of the dog probably made a snap decision, at least she was willing to do the right thing in the end. But that was the problem in the begining, she “thought” she was doing the right thing. so again with the judgements. Maybe instead she should have walked into the place and had a conversation with the owner if she really wanted to help.

  14. NH says:

    What wonderful news!

  15. Pat says:

    What a wonderful story of reunion with Reba. I know exactly how Mr. Finley felt. He will take excellent care of his Reba. Thrilled they have been reunited!

  16. Sharon says:

    I can understand what the lady did. Austin has homeless on every street corner. Last year I saw a guy working on the side of the road, holding signs for an auto dealer, his dog was by his side. It was a hundred degrees outside though the pup was in the shade. I brought him some water. The the next day when I drove by the dog was gone. I wondered if it was taken or darted into the street and got run over. Sometimes it takes an animal to make us truly see a human’s plight. Pets and people deserve a decent life and one with dignity.

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