Source: Donovan

Veteran Loses Dogs after Heart Attack, Later Requests Shelter Not to Put Them up for Adoption

Salwa Nadeem
Feb 04, 2022
11:00 P.M.
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The story of a Vietnam veteran surfaced when a video of him tearing up at a pet store went viral. Thousands of people witnessed the emotional moment and discovered what made the old man cry.


The video showed a man standing at a store, paying money to a female cashier. He teared up when she returned the money to him and said something. 

He had previously suffered a heart attack and stood at the store three months after the stroke. The emotional video got more than 84 thousand views within 24 hours after it was posted. 

Source: Donovan


The man seen crying in the video was a Vietnam veteran, James Pack, who had suffered a major heart attack. On September 25, 2015, animal control took his pet dogs, Baily and Blaze, to look after them. 

The shelter kept animals with them for five days, but they decided to sterilize them and put them up for adoption after seeing Pack's condition. They believed Pack wouldn't make it. 

However, Pack survived the heart attack and called the shelter to tell them he would come to get his dogs back. His determination showed how much he loved his pets. 

The veteran was seen crying in the video | Source: YouTube/LindsayDonovan


Three months after his heart attack, Pack went to the shelter to see his furry friends. They were delighted to meet their owner for the first time in months. 

He agreed to come, not knowing what was waiting for him inside the store. 

However, since they were now up for adoption, Pack had to pay the adoption fee to get them back. He gave his first deposit during his first meeting to get them back. 

He paid the deposit | Source: YouTube/LindsayDonovan


At the same time, Melissa Eagle, a woman who worked for the shelter, witnessed the heartwrenching reunion. She knew Pack's story since she was the one who transported the dogs to the shelter. 

Melissa felt emotional after watching the older man sitting on the floor while his dogs licked his face. A plan struck her mind, so she went home and decided to execute it. 

She immediately called some volunteers she knew and asked them to donate $5-10 to cover the dogs' adoption fee. Since the adoption fee had been reduced to half, a volunteer agreed to cover all of it. Other volunteers bought dog food and other essentials for Baily and Blaze. 


Melissa saw the man hugging his dogs | Source: YouTube/LindsayDonovan

After the expenses were covered, the staff at the adoption center called the veteran in, asking him to complete the adoption paperwork. He agreed to come, not knowing what was waiting for him inside the store. 


The viral video captured the moment when the store worker was returning Pack's deposit. At first, he thought the woman was returning his money because he couldn't adopt the dogs. When the woman explained that Melissa had raised money for him along with the volunteers, he asked:

"Are you serious?"

She returned the deposit | Source: YouTube/LindsayDonovan


The woman also told him that the volunteers had collected gift cards, toys, treats, and many other things for his babies. Pack was shocked, and his voice became shaky as he tried to accept what was happening. 

Meanwhile, he could hear dogs barking from afar. "They are my dogs?" he asked in a wavery voice. He covered his face with his hand because he couldn't believe he didn't have to pay the adoption fee. 

He conversed with the employees until his dogs arrived. Baily and Blaze were excited to meet Pack. It seemed like they knew they were going home with their owner. 

He was shocked | Source: YouTube/LindsayDonovan


The video ended with Pack hugging Baily and Blaze, ready to go home after three months. Many people witnessed the reunion on Facebook and YouTube. A woman expressed her feelings in the comments section:

"It's stories like this that restore my faith in humanity."

Another woman confessed that she could watch the video on repeat without getting tired. She was glad Pack got his dogs back. 


"I would have paid the adoption fee myself for this poor man," commented a man. He shared that his father is also a veteran, so he understands how they sacrifice their lives to protect the country. 

He said he wouldn't think twice before paying the adoption fee for the man. He was glad to know that other people also think alike and helped the man. Most people felt happy for the veteran after watching the video. 

If you enjoyed reading this story, you might like this one about a retired police dog who cried after meeting her handler, who she hadn't seen for years.