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Maria Sanchez Raises Money to Reunite Man With His Dog

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Through social media and luck, one man who couldn’t afford to get his dog from the pound is now able to have him back, after a woman started up a campaign to reunite the pair.

When Dave Thomas was jailed for a few days from a traffic violation, his dog Buzz Lightyear was taken to the pound. Thomas went to the shelter to get Buzz back after he was released from jail, but found that he must pay $400 in fees.

He only had $6 to his name on that day, and realized it was probably the last time he would see his beloved dog as he was set to be put to sleep this week.

As Thomas spent his last moments with the dog, a photographer and dog-lover captured heart-wrenching photos of the man petting the dog's paw through a cage and letting him lick his face.

Maria Sanchez then put the photo on Facebook and within days, people raised more than $2,000 to release the pup to his owner.

It took Sanchez a couple of days to locate Thomas, though, as he didn’t leave any contact details with the shelter.

She posted fliers around the area and asked for help online, but it wasn’t until a local news station stepped in that Thomas was finally located.

“He was pouring water into his dog’s water bowl, his dog sat there and licked up the water for about a minute, he sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said as she remembered that day.

The news station found Thomas and Sanchez informed him on-air that he would be reunited with Buzz the next morning, and that all finances were taken care of.

Shocked by her kindness, all he could say was “thank you.”

The two were reunited Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., and Buzz was given a microchip so he would not be classified as a stray dog if he were to end up in the pound again.

Update: Unfortunately, the situation has taken a wrong turn, as Thomas is calling news stations and claiming Sanchez won't give him the rest of the money donated to Buzz. 

Sanchez said she would use the extra money to pay off his bills, traffic tickets, or rent, but would not give him cash, since she wanted to make sure it went to good use. 

She said on her Facebook page that she wanted him to realize the money was a blessing and that it should be used wisely. When she told him this, he didn't say anything and simply nodded his head. 

Next, he went to the news stations to tell them she was "not giving him the money." Sanchez called him to clear up the situation, but his wife answered and yelled at her. 

"Channel 5 called me and said they received a voicemail from him, saying that I won't give him his money. So I explained to them exactly what I told him last night," Sanchez told Right This Minute.

"It's very hurtful. I already told him that every dime that we raise is going to him and Buzz, but I did explain that I'm not just handing him over cash."

Sanchez wanted to act as an "accountant" for him until the money ran out, as she did not want the money going to drugs. She said she has had her life and the lives of her children devastated by drug use, and did not want to encourage any addiction.

She is now giving donators the option to either have their money given to a shelter or refunded, but said she will not be giving any money to Thomas.

"My hands are being washed of him, I'm really disappointed, actually," she said. 

(ABCNews, Right This Minute)

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