“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a famous adage that we constantly hear. But we have to admit that sometimes, we fail to practice it in our daily lives. However, this woman from Texas kept this saying in her heart, and applied it when she met a homeless man who needed her help.
Wilma Price had just walked out of a Walmart store in Huntsville when she saw a homeless man standing by the exit and holding a sign with an unusual message. Instead of the typical “Homeless and hungry. Please help.” note, the cardboard sign bore the words “Dog in pound. Need help.”
As a dog lover, the words caught Wilma’s attention. However, she only had $8 at the time, so she didn’t stop to help the fellow.
As she was walking, though, she couldn’t take her mind off the man’s look of complete misery and desperation. Before she was even halfway to her car, she decided to turn around and talk to him.
“I looked at him and I couldn’t get over it. He looked like a little boy standing there lost,” Wilma told CBS News.
She asked the man, whose name was Patrick, to tell her what happened.
She learned that the man had gotten in trouble a few days ago for trespassing, and for that, he spent two nights in jail. During that time, his dog Franklin was taken away and brought to the local animal shelter, where he was marked a “stray”.
This broke Patrick’s heart. When he was released, he immediately got in touch with the shelter to ask them how he could get his dog back. But what they required was way more than what he had.
The shelter informed him that he had to pay $120, plus $10 for every day that his dog stayed there. The steep fees included a heart-worm test, flea prevention, a rabies shot, and a $35 impoundment fee.
“I’m not leaving this town until I get my dog,” he told Wilma.
Wilma was moved by Patrick’s love for his dog and felt compelled to help him.
“He seemed like a nice, gentle soul who just happened to have a hard life,” Wilma told InsideEdition.com.
However, she didn’t have that amount of money to give him. Wilma knew she couldn’t do it alone so she phoned a friend and asked her for help to raise money for Patrick.
The two successfully gathered enough funds to get Franklin back. Before giving him a ride to the shelter, Wilma ensured that Patrick had everything he needed to take care of his pup. She filled his backpack with things such as a water bowl, a small package of dog food, and toys.
Patrick assured her, “My dog eats before I do. That dog is my life.”
After two days of his chance meeting with Wilma, Patrick was finally reunited with his beloved dog.
In addition to reuniting the two friends, Wilma and an animal rescue volunteer named Jill, helped Patrick raise money by setting up a GoFundMe dedicated to helping him get back on his feet.
Overwhelmed with gratitude, Patrick told Wilma:
“You did more for me than most people have done in my life. You don’t know how much I thank you.”
The kind woman’s good deed went viral, and she had this to say to those who followed their story.
“The lesson here is don’t judge a book by their covers. That’s the whole thing. We’re in such a judgmental world. Everybody deserves a chance — you never know, in the blink of an eye that could be you.”
Well said, Wilma! We admire you for your compassion and for helping Patrick, despite the fact that he was a complete stranger.
Watch this video below from Inside Edition to learn more about this story.