Animal Shelter Assists Owner in Reuniting with Abandoned Dog

King was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Burger King with a note paperclipped to his collar before police officers brought the dog to South Suburban Humane Society

A dog named King, who made headlines after he was found abandoned in a Burger King parking lot with a note attached to his collar, is back with his loving owner.

King arrived at South Suburban Humane Society (SSHS) in late February after the Monee Police Department found the dog abandoned in a Burger King parking lot with a note paperclipped to his collar, according to Emily Klehm, the CEO of the Matteson, Illinois, animal rescue.

The note read: “Hi, I’m King. I am a good boy. Love to hug and kiss.”

Monee Police Department officers brought the canine to SSHS after picking him up, and the rescue took over caring for the pet, who lived up to the note’s description.

“King was in great condition. He had clearly been well taken care of and is a true lovebug. He was happy to see all of the staff and wanted to play,” Klehm told PEOPLE about the pup’s time at the shelter.

Shortly after the Monee Police Department picked up the dog, it shared the pet’s story on social media, where King’s owner made the shocking discovery that her dog was abandoned.

“She had seen the social media posts, so she came to the shelter shortly after the police brought him here,” Klehm explained.

“She told us that she had recently experienced a serious health issue and had to move in with family. Unfortunately, it was a family member who had abandoned King, and she was truly devastated. She shared with me her struggles, and she had tears streaming down her face,” the humane society CEO said, adding that “I was deeply moved by her love of King.”

When King’s owner came to the shelter to explain her situation, she also shared that she didn’t have a safe place for King to live at the moment. Instead of putting King up for adoption, SSHS started working on a way to permanently reunite the dog with his owner in a place where both could live.

“We operate a safety net foster program where we can, with limited resources, place pets in foster care so that their pet parents can get back on their feet and be reunited,” Klehm said about what happened next.

King was placed in this program and moved in with an SSHS staff member shortly after arriving at the rescue. While King enjoyed his foster home, luckily, his time there was short.

About a week after King was dropped off at SSHS, his owner secured housing to accommodate her and her beloved pup.

“We have some amazing news …. King and his mom are reunited! She was able to find some temporary living arrangements where she could bring him, and we were overjoyed to reunite them today!! She knows that we are here for a lifetime of support,” SSHS shared on social media Monday, along with a video of King excitedly reuniting with his pet parent.

Klehm and her team at SSHS hope that King’s journey inspires others to choose kindness.

“Our motto is the Dalai Lama quote, ‘Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.’ Thankfully, the response has now been overwhelmingly positive. At any point, any one of us could need help like King’s mom does, and our job is to help as many people as we can. The work that SSHS does is focused on keeping pets and their families together because pets ARE family,” Klehm said.

Those who would like to support King and his owner during this time of transition can do so at the pair’s GoFundMe page. To learn more about SSHS and how to help the rescue keep the families together, visit the humane society’s website.

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