A veteran broke down in tears when he was told he would be reunited with his beloved dogs after three months in the hospital (video below).
James Pack of Newark, Delaware, was hospitalized in September after suffering a major heart attack, Delaware State News reported. Because his family did not have the means to care for his two dogs while he was in the hospital, he had to turn them over to the First State Animal Shelter and SPCA in Camden, Delaware.
After Pack was released from the hospital 90 days later, he was delighted to discover that his two Labrador-pit bull mixes, Bailey and Blaze, had not yet been adopted.
On Dec. 16, the man had a brief reunion with his dogs at an SPCA shelter inside a PetSmart store in Dover, Delaware, where his pets had been transferred.
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"The dogs couldn't contain their excitement," Lindsay Carrothers, an adoption counselor at the shelter, told the Huffington Post. "They greeted him with massive kisses and wagging tails."
Because the animals had been put up for adoption, Pack was told that he would have to pay the $210 adoption fee in order to take them home.
"The man was willing to sell his car to get the money," Carrothers said.
SPCA volunteers pitched in with donations of dog food, toys, personalized treats and gift cards to the family of three.
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When Pack returned to the SPCA location on Dec. 17, he said that he would need more time to get the money. However, he was stunned and overjoyed when shelter employees informed him that an SPCA volunteer, Chris Malec, had paid his adoption fee after it was reduced to $125. The dogs were now Pack's to take home.
The tearful moment was captured on video by Carrothers, who posted it to Facebook on Dec. 17. The video has been viewed more than 2.9 million times and the post shared more than 60,000 times as of Dec. 21.
Facebook users writing in the comments section called the moment "beautiful" and praised the shelter staff for their kindness.
Pack, a U.S. Navy veteran and former diesel mechanic, hopes to go back to school to become an X-ray technician. He adopted Bailey and Blaze from different families when they were each 8 weeks old.
"The two babies are doing fine," he told Delaware State News on Dec. 18. "I let them stay in bed with me last night, until they pushed me onto the floor."
Carrothers said she was delighted to have been part of such a heartwarming moment.
"It had everyone in tears," she told the Huffington Post about Pack's reunion with Bailey and Blaze. "You could just feel the love those dogs had for him. And there shouldn't have been anything, especially money, that should've stood in his way to getting his family back."
Photo Credit: Lindsay Carrothers/Delaware State News, Screenshot/YouTube