Stranger pays $5K to reunite Kimbo the dog with his family
Karl Daniels and his faithful, furry companion Kimbo are back together again, thanks to the generosity of a stranger.
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Karl Daniels and his faithful, furry companion are back together again, thanks to the generosity of a stranger.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, a white van pulled up out front of Daniels’ apartment, and a 10-year-old brown and brindle bundle of excitement jumped out, wagging its tail.
Karl and his daughter Michelle were waiting, accompanied by Lawrence Dalle Vedove.
“My buddy’s back!,” said Michelle. “I never thought I’d see the dog back.”
Michelle was just as overjoyed to see Dalle Vedove, who helped reunite her father with the dog he hadn’t seen since it ran out the front door August 28.
“You’re my angel,” Michelle said to Dalle Vedove, unable to stop smiling. “I’m not even going to shake your hand. I’m going to hug you.”
Dalle Vedove came over to shake Karl’s hand. Michelle explained that Dalle Vedove is the man who paid the new family who adopted Kimbo $5,000 to get him back.
“Has it been four years (since Kimbo was lost)?” Karl asked.
“It’s been two months, Dad,” Michelle replied.
“Anyone who has their dog and isn’t happy, there’s something wrong with them,” said Karl.
In late August, shortly after Kimbo ran away, he was taken in by the Toronto Humane Society. A little while later, he was adopted by a new family. Michelle Daniels found out and made a plea to the THS to ask the new family to return Kimbo so her father, who suffers from dementia, could have his buddy back. The new family refused. The Daniels family lost hope of ever seeing Kimbo again.
But a generous offer from Dalle Vedove changed all that.
Last Thursday, Dalle Vedove left a message for the THS saying that he was going to set up a rally in front of their offices and demand that Kimbo be returned to the original owners.
The next day he got a got a call from THS CEO Jacques Messier. He told Messier he’d sweeten the pot if the new family would give Kimbo back.
“I said to him — just offer (the family) $5,000 and get the dog back … bring him back to the family.”
Messier thanked him for his phone call, said he would consult with the new owners of Kimbo, and call back.
On Monday, Messier called, saying the new owners had accepted the offer.
Why did Dalle Vedove think of offering $5,000?
“That’s the figure I came up with because that’s the figure I was going to use to go on vacation with to Australia.”
Dalle Vedove’s father lost his battle with kidney cancer in Feb. 2011. During the last five years of his life their dog, Jake, never left his side.
“Whether Dad was in the garage or gardening, Jake never left his side for those five years until he passed away,” Dalle Vedove said. “I know the bond a dog has with his master. . . . A dog is truly a man’s best friend.”
It’s not just because of his father’s bond with Jake that Dalle Vedove wanted Kimbo returned to his original family.
He’d once lost his own dog as well.
On June 6, 2010, his dog Zee got separated from him on Red Hill Creek Trail in East Hamilton. Although he searched for Zee high and low, there was no luck at all for several months.
Then on Jan. 3 2011, a Doberman rescue group called him to say Zee had been found by the side of a road after being hit by a car.
“He had terrible wounds on his hind right leg from constant licking, and was emaciated . He had fractures to both his tibia and fibula. The bones had both been snapped from him trying to break free from being somehow stuck between two objects,” he said.
“This person had basically kept my Zee since June and had no intentions of ever returning him to me,” Dalle Vedove said.
Even after five years, Zee’s wounds have yet to heal completely, he said. “He has trouble with stairs but besides that, he is a happy dog and well loved and a fighter,” he said. “I am grateful he is home with me.”
So he thought $5,000 was a small price to pay to reunite Karl and Kimbo.
Even for someone who’s used to tearful reunions and happy adoptions, the tale of Kimbo being reunited with his family is something special.
“In my five years here, I’ve never seen something like this,” said the THS’s Messier.