When homeless man César walked into the Hospital Regional Alto Vale in Brazil to seek medical treatment at 3 AM on a Sunday, his friends came along to show their support.
Only these were no ordinary buddies — they were his loyal canine companions, who anxiously gathered at the door of the clinic.
César was seeking help for an ongoing medical problem and hospital staff were amazed at the manners and good health of the dogs patiently waiting for their guardian.
Worker Cris Mamprin took snaps of the beautiful pups, marveling at their dedication and condition.
“They are all well taken care of and chubby,” said Mamprin. “Seeing them like that, waiting at the door, only shows how much they are cared for and loved.”
While César received treatment, the staff allowed the dogs in to keep him company, offering food to both them and their caring guardian, who confessed that he often goes without food to make sure the dogs can eat.
Touched by this close-knit family living on the streets, Mamprin shared the snaps on social media, where they quickly went viral.
“He has the best companions with him,” she said. “I do not know what his life is like, or why he’s on the street, but I admire the respect and love he has for his little animals.”
In America, an estimated 5-10 percent of homeless people have pets.
Although they are often criticized for keeping an animal when they can’t afford to support themselves, those who work with them reveal that many homeless people take better care of their animals than they do themselves.
Just like any companion animal at home, these “homeless companions” provide a sense of connection, family, and security to those who desperately need it.
“The need for companionship is just as important as the need for food or shelter,” says author Danielle Wolfe. “Taking care of others reinforces our purpose for living.