While driving near her home in Arkansas, Alicia Edrington saw an unusual sight that forced her to do a double-take: a man was riding his bike along the side of the road, pulling a small cart behind him. The 24-year-old tried to drive on, but something just wasn’t sitting right with her.
So, Alicia decided to investigate. She circled back, knowing full well that approaching a stranger on the side of the road likely wasn’t a good idea. As she made her way toward the man, she suddenly realized what he was dragging behind him in the cart—and her heart broke.
Sometimes we witness something that we just can’t ignore. Whether it’s a person or animal in trouble, we know it’s our duty to do everything we can to help. That was the case for Arkansas’s Alicia Edrington one day.
The 24-year-old was a mother, so she had a keen sense of when something was amiss. In 2015, Alicia exhibited that exact intuition when she came across an odd sight while driving near her home.
It was a man. He seemed homeless, and he was stopped along the busy highway just inches from oncoming traffic. He appeared to be performing maintenance on his bicycle, which was attached to a small cart. Most concerning, however, was what was on top of that cart…
Sitting atop the trailer were multiple small dogs. As Alicia drove by, she felt her senses on high alert. She pulled over and called her father for his opinion on how to respond. Although both believed it could be risky, they ultimately decided she should offer the man some help.
Alicia managed to circle back and approach the man. After she politely asked him about his situation and the dogs he was carrying, Alicia learned his name was Steve and that he was currently on his way to a friend’s home in Indiana.
Steve told Alicia that he’d been homeless and living on the streets since 2001. Then, he told her something heartbreaking: he’d spent the past 14 years taking care of any stray dogs he found along the way, dedicating all of his meager resources to their care.
Alicia was stunned. She knew she had to do something to help, so she went home and reached out to the local community, setting up an online fundraiser through GoFundMe. In no time at all, support was flowing in for Steve.
“He treats the dogs better than he treats himself,” Alicia said later in an interview. “I find it extraordinary. I’m a big animal lover myself. When I began interacting with him I was overwhelmed.”
Not only did Alicia eventually raise more than triple the amount she’s originally asked for, but a total stranger named Kelley Seaton volunteered to drive Steve the rest of the way to Indiana!
Kelley, who worked for Animal Rescue Corps in her hometown of Dyersburg, Tennessee, was so touched by Steve’s kindness and generosity that she knew she had to help. She quickly made the trip to pick up Steve and his dogs!
Once she reached Steve, she helped him load all of his dogs into her SUV. She also secured Steve’s bike onto the back of her car and tied his cart to the roof. Then they were ready for their journey!
It was a snug fit, but they were all excited to get Steve and his dogs where they needed to go. The trip would be a long one, but Kelley was so inspired by Steve that she didn’t mind one bit. Given his circumstances, it didn’t matter how far she’d have to take him.
The first day, Kelley, Steve, and all of his dogs were packed in the car as they drove through the night. Despite the cramped conditions, Kelley was pleasantly surprised by how well-behaved the pups were, even when they were forced to sit in traffic.
“Toto is wondering what this hold up in the traffic is. We’ll get there!” Kelley wrote in a post on her Facebook page as she documented their voyage to Indiana. “They’ve all traveled so well today!”
The next day, as they neared their final destination, everyone—dogs included—was in high spirits. Steve had been on such a long journey already, and he could sense that he was so close to reaching his goal.
Once they arrived in Indiana, they were able to stay in a motel where Steve and his dogs would be safe and warm. Obviously, no one was happier about this upgrade than the pups! Finally having a roof over their heads must have been an immense relief.
It was there that they were also connected with an animal welfare worker named Angela. She offered to help Steve take care of his dogs, and she even made several trips to his hotel room so she could check them for any potential ailments.
Steve was allowed to stay in the pet-friendly hotel room for a few weeks. Thankfully, generous folks from all around the world saw his story and continued to send him funds to help support his mission.
In just a few short weeks, Steve and his dogs’ lives had completely turned around! It was beginning to look like he would finally be able to find a place that he and his pack could call their forever home.
It’s amazing to think how quickly Steve’s life changed, and it was all thanks to so many caring souls. Now, a group of people have even donated a trailer to him so hopefully he and his dogs can have the happy life that they deserve!
It’s inspiring to see the way Steve has treated these stray dogs with the utmost respect and care, despite his own personal struggles. He’s truly an inspiration to everyone.
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