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Homeless and unemployed, man living out of his car refuses to give up his dog

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | June 27, 2012 | Comments (29)

A twenty-two-year old man, down on his luck, says his dog is all he's got left in the world. Despite losing his job, his girlfriend, his home and all his money (he's down to only £30 left in his wallet), Luke Male won't even think about giving up his faithful 15-month old Staffordshire Bulll Terrier, Elvis.

Unemployed man living out of his car with his dog"I lost my job, ran out of money, and split with my missus," he said. "I sold my TV, X-Box and vacuum cleaner to get by – my dog is all I've got left in the world and I'm not going to get rid of him."

A window fitter by profession, Luke lives in Plymouth, UK. When he exited his last job after things did not work out, he expected to find new work right away. Instead, he's found it a challenge to find any job. Soon after, his economic situation took its toll on his relationship with his former girlfriend, and he moved out of the home and into his truck.

For the past two weeks, Luke and Elvis have been living in his vehicle, washing up at relatives' homes. "I spend half the time walking around because it's cold," he told the Plymouth Herald. "Sleeping in the car is cold too, and uncomfortable."

Unable to claim unemployment insurance, Luke is feeling the pressure to find work fast. But with the economic downturn, the job market has also gone down.

Days are spent taking care of Elvis and trying to find work, but Luke is feeling more and more hopeless and wondering how much longer he will be able to afford to keep his truck, the one roof over his and Elvis' head.

Although the situation for Luke is desperate, he's been receiving help from a local career recruitment association and hopes something will turn up soon. He doesn't plan to give up, just yet saying, "I'm still going to try to get on with it." No doubt with Elvis by his side.

 


Update June 28, 2012: Offers of help have been flooding in for Luke and his dog Elvis. Within hours of publishing Luke's story yesterday, kind readers have offered Luke a job, a roof over his head and food for his faithful Staffordshire bull terrier. ​

Astor Hotel owner Joseph Louie has asked to meet Luke to see if there is a job he can do at the Hoe hotel. He also has a room Luke can use.

In addition, property developer Gabriella Moor, of St Judes' G&M Property Development, said she could maybe help with a construction job and accommodation, saying: "No one should have to live in their car. I'll have a chat with him."

Luke was touched by the generosity of well-wishers and said: "It's lovely." He was excited about the job offers, but hesitant about the public outpouring for donations and added: "The others I appreciate, but I feel funny about accepting charity."

 

Luke's friends and family have also stepped in to help and Luke is now planning to move in with his father.

But if this does not happen then Adrian Jones has offered a spare room in his Devonport house.

He said: "I've been in that position myself, a few years back, but got back on my feet."

And Elvis has not been forgotten. Sarah Cooper, of Harlequins Pet Care, in Plymstock, was among people offering food for the homeless mutt, and said: "It tugs at the heartstrings."

Laura Inman, from Milehouse, said Elvis could have food her retriever Rolo wasn't interested in and said: "I can even drop it to him."

 



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Comments on this Article

Awww Handsome, dog lover with a nice heart...Good luck Luke and Elvis!
I am living in Australia and was only here five months when my partner of 22 years went off with someone else.I brought my dog a Rhodesian Ridgeback over from the UK and he had a really bad time as he was having problems with one of his blood tests.After months of waiting he came over,just before my partner left me. I have been unable to get work and have not been here long enough to get social help,so now Im in the process of selling everything I own to get me and my boy back to England,I hope to just have enough to get a car or small van for me and my dog to live in as we will not have anywhere to go, but I would rather do this then spend life without him. My heart goes out to this guy and to everyone in the same boat as him...and me. I wish we could all find somewhere so we could hold on to our wonderful and dearest friends.Good luck and love to you all.
I don't blame him, I wouldn't give up my dog either! I'm basically in the same situation but I have a motorhome with ac and heater. My dog is my life and I wish him lots of luck!
Mandy, I wish I can do something or sharing with you to get you back on track, but I am living in US and what I can do is available in here, US. I have no family, or anyone who I know living in your country. Good luck, keep moving forward. That's I am doing right now, too!!
good luck to the man im in the same boat homeless with a 5yr old staffie but refuse to give him up just to find somewhere to live its me and marley or nothing he a very freindly loving dog
I also live in the UK, at the moment in Devon but wanting to get back to Cornwall asap. I have 2 rescue dogs and a rescue cat, an 8 and a half year old German Shepherd (ive had since he was 1) and a 2 year old Dobermann. People hear what breeds they are and refuse to let me rent their properties, thinking they are vicious, but they are just big babies. People just wont even meet them to give them a chance
Mandy, where you live now? What state and city? What breed your dogs are? How many?
Jennifer i myself would be interested what kind of help is available? I am also homeless with animals, and have been since Jan, ive had friends kind enough to let us sleep on their floors/sofa's, but now we have to move on as my friend is having problems with regarding the local council threatening to evict him for 'sub letting' even though im not paying him rent & he isnt charging me any.
The editor never got back to me but since the article hit other papers and said people were helping, I assume that is why. I'm hoping anyway.
The editor never got back to me but since the article hit other papers and said people were helping, I assume that is why. I'm hoping anyway.
I'm so glad this young man and his friend are getting help.
Well done kid. I am also unemployed for 6 months now with no social security and having trouble just paying the bills. The money to feed my family which includes the cat and four stray cats down the road is difficult to come by. Don't give up, you have it seems a lot of help out there - take the job work hard and have a great future together with your pet friend.
I would never let either of my dogs go even if I was homeless they are family and family sticks together
Dont get your hopes up Luke.... I was also made homeless after my relationship broke up in Jan. I have 2 rescue dogs and a cat, and am STILL homeless despite all the "help" thats out there... I even got taken off the council list as i had to leave the area after the funding for my pets foster care ran out. The only option i have left now, is to go back to Cornwall, and sleep rough until im deemed enough of a problem to finally get some real help. Ill be sleeping under the stars... At least you have a van :-(
There are resources available to help you keep your doggie when you hit a hardship.. The www.humanesociety.org has a site that is specific to trouble affording pets.....There is also email, though not sure it is exact same program..... foreclosurepets@humanesociety.org The number to humane society: 202-452-1100 hit 0, the menu sucks and just tell them your circumstance and they should connect you. If you live in UK, try IFAW or still use previously mentioned and they may still help, at least with resources. You can also, if you get too strapped, "foster" your dog, hopefully with someone you know. if not, there is an international site that has the most up to date, largest rescue and related resources site in the world. it can be non user friendly, just search around until you get to the list you want. It isn't just an adoption site. www.rescueme.org
Luke and Elvis made it into another paper and we aren't the only one's offering help. Sounds like he getting help already but I will keep digging to be sure and see how we can help. Thanks!
Jennifer please keep me updated about donating to Luke and Elvis...
This story brought me to tears. I really hope he finds a job and move on with his life. I could help if I have a job. I also have a 10 year old Bichon, living with me for the last 4 years. We are surviving the odds although funds is going low slowly too. My motivation is the dog who depends on me for his food and shelter. Keisha and I will survive the odds. But my heart goes to this man, Luke who loved his dog very much. I admire his courage to keep his dog, and I hope that will motivate him more to persevere in his situation and won't stop looking for a job till he finds one.
I emailed the Editor to see if they can set a chip in account for donations and to make sure they were reading the comments, since so many wonderful people have offered to help. I would like to do something too from Chicago IL USA. If that Bus Monitor can raise $600,000 for a vacation, we should be able to raise enough to get him some basic help.
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