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Hi, I am Jean Gagliardi and I am sharing this story because it hit me close to home for a number of reasons. Please take a minute to read and know that every little bit helps!!

It's 2 a.m. The man has come on hard times and has been living in his 24-year-old car with his dog. Wednesday, parked near Stop & Shop, the car heater quit. He had blankets, but he and his dog were freezing. He had run out of options and needed help, so he called East Haven police.

An officer got to them, and after assessing the situation called for an ambulance. The man, named Martin, was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital to be evaluated for hypothermia. Meanwhile, newly installed East Haven Animal Control officer Emily Higgins was dispatched from her home in the middle of the night to get the dog, an 8-year-old boxer, and bring her to the shelter. She'd stay there, safe and warm, until her human was released from the hospital.

Now retired East Haven Animal Control officer Owen Little shared the story with Patch.

Thursday, Martin was released from the hospital and went to retrieve his dog. And to try to find a place for them to stay for a couple of nights, as an arctic blast is imminent. Little said there are no shelters or warming centers in East Haven, New Haven or nearby that will take a dog.

Then, Higgins did something that goes far above and beyond the scope of her new job. Telling Little she had some motel rewards points she could cash in towards a room, she paid for two nights at the Quality Inn for Martin and his four-legged companion.



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Organizer and beneficiary

Jean Gagliardi
New Haven, CT
Martin Lillis

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