Monday, June 22, 2009

The Story of Doug and Katie

This is a story I've been monitoring for about two months. Unfortunately, I didn't keep all the original postings about Doug and Katie but the gist of the story goes something like this...

Doug and Katie were befriended by a wonderful lady and fellow rescuer named Ingrid in the Los Angeles area.

Doug and Katie are homeless and living on the street. I believe Ingrid got involved when Doug was arrested for vagrancy (taking shelter under a bridge) and poor Katie was destined for the pound where she surely would have been killed.

Ingrid was able to get the dog released to her, has completely vetted Katie, including micro chipping the dog under her name, and made sure she was safe until Doug's release. Since then, Ingrid has been trying desperately to find some type of safe shelter for this poor man and his dog. Most homeless shelters will not allow pets, but Katie is everything to Doug. He will not give up his "best friend" which means he must continue to live in the back alleys, bushes, or under the overpasses of the Los Angeles suburbs until something becomes available.

I'm not sure how Doug became homeless, or how he and Katie became friends, but it is a tragic story. A story that deserves a Happy Ending.

Ingrid has found a few other Good Samaritans who have graciously given their time and a few bucks to see that Doug has gotten some new clothes. They have opened up their homes to allow him to shower and shave, wash his dirty clothes, and provided he and Katie with a good home cooked meal.

Ingrid is trying to find someplace safe for them until one of the homeless shelters that do allow pets has an opening. The biggest problem she is having is that none of the city or county agencies are of much help as Doug has been beaten and robbed so many times that he's lost all of his identification, has no address, therefore ..... they can be of no assistance. Now how pathetic is that, folks? And people wonder why we have so many homeless people out here. If you lose your ID, they make it next to impossible to ever get a new one as you rarely are able to prove who you are, even if you know your social security number. Then they can't give you any financial assistance because you have NO address .... DUH, the person is HOMELESS .... of course they don't have an address.

Doug also has a serious hernia problem that needs medical attention. However, since he has no ID and no address... the hospital put him right back out of on the streets, because there is no financial assistance available for him at this time.

I typically do not solicit donations from other people. However, I do feel passionately about Doug and Katie's sad story. Doug's determination to, once again, become a productive member of society while keeping his beloved Katie at his side is to be commended. Ingrid is also to be commended and admired for her selfless acts of kindness and humanity.

I know times are tough right now, and we all are struggling to survive our failing economy.... but at least we have a roof over our heads, we have food to eat... food that isn't salvaged from a trash can. We are safe at night while we sleep.

Remember to thank God for that... as there are others out there that are less fortunate. When you crawl into bed tonight, with a full tummy and are safe and comfortable.... please remember Doug and Katie. Say a prayer for them .... and if you can find it in your heart, please send whatever you can to Ingrid. Even a dollar will help.

Please send donations to:

Ingrid Hurel
4818 W. 136th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250
or via PayPal to

Additional contact information for Ingrid is in the email below.

Thank you and God Bless.

Jo Ann & "Gang"

The last email I received from Ingrid...
Hello Everybody,

I have some GREAT news and some extremely BAD news from Doug and Katie.

The bad news is, that we spent again ALL day at the hospital yesterday because Doug’s Hernia came back out again (after they had pushed it in on Saturday). It came out worse, he says, it’s the size of a small softball!!! Doug is in a LOT of pain. The most unbelievable thing is, that we have to wait up to 4 weeks to see the doctor to SCHEDULE an appointment for surgery. They told us yesterday, that it can take up to 1.5 years to actually receive the surgery. I am ABSOLUTELY APPALLED. Douglas is an American Citizen and he can’t get URGENT medical treatment until possibly over one year later!!

The doctor who examined him yesterday and who I was able to speak to in my native language of German about his case, explained to me, that his Hernia is at a critical stage already. She wrote in the paperwork that she recommends, that he gets treatment ASAP. She said, that’s all she can do.

I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE TO YOU IN WORDS, HOW UPSETTING THIS SITUATION IS. I am extremely worried, that this can turn into a life-threatening event and Doug is by himself and what then……?

The GREAT news is, that we were finally able to get Doug and Katie into a small motel nearby. It is not the prettiest place but Doug is, according to his words: “…..jazzed, to have our own little space to be safe.” As the motel only allows SERVICE DOGS, Katie decided, that she will start working now to help her Daddy get their new life started! Katie officially became a SERVICE DOG to Doug yesterday. As you can see in the pics, Katie looks very cute in her little vest. Both, Doug and Katie were SO, SO happy to be in their little room, it even has a little fridge and a microwave. Katie started rolling on the bed immediately and Doug played with her by letting her chase his hands under the covers. It was one of the most beautiful things, to see these two interacting. There is SO much love between them and they truly adore each other and are ONE TEAM !

As a Service Dog, the MOST EXCITING part is, that Katie can go EVERYWHERE now with Doug. He used to be very uncomfortable going into any place, where he couldn’t take Katie and one of the other homeless people had to watch her.

Now, Doug can feel safe and keep Katie with him at all times.

We went to buy some groceries last night at the local “Food For Less” and Katie had her debut as a Service Dog. We were able to have her in the store WITHOUT any problem. Katie acted, as if she has done this all her life. She walked perfectly next to Doug and his shopping cart. She didn’t bark at anybody nor did she sniff excessively at any of the food.

Katie was a total pro and super well behaved. She is amazing. Doug was absolutely thrilled.

I am praying and hoping, that whoever had offered donations for Doug and Katie keep their promise. So far, we have received only one donation from a very special Lady who has stuck with us from the beginning.

I am begging you, to please come through on your offers of help and also to keep passing on their story.

Doug is ready to start looking for jobs but it won’t happen as fast as we hoped for, as he is now restricted by the Hernia condition. He is very frustrated about this, as he wants to start working so bad, now that is receiving his ID.

I am committed continue to help Doug and Katie but I can only do the legwork. I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY. So, we PLEASE need your help to keep Doug and Katie in the motel until they get accepted into PATH (our social worker will speak to PATH again next week) or until we can find another solution.

THEY CAN NOT GO BACK INTO THE STREETS, it is too dangerous for Doug to be out there in his condition.

Doug told me, that for the first time in many years, he feels hope for a better life again and he starts believing, that it is possible for him and Katie.

Doug is making HUGE progress. Every time, I interact with him, I can see more of a difference.

The motel is $ 325 per week. We also need groceries.
Please contact me and let me know how much you would like contribute.


(If you need references of my integrity as a rescuer, please let me know and I will be more than happy to provide those.)

Thank you

310 480 6030

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