This is something that should never have happened, not here and not anywhere, but unfortunately it has. The question of whether it could have been prevented is redundant at this point.
Montreal has a homeless problem (or a mental health treatment deficit) that is big during summer, and perhaps less visible during winter, for obvious reasons.
I blogged about it few years ago, in fact.
Last week, a man’s best friend died in his arms, during a night’s record breaking temperature of -16C, with a wind chill of -26C, because they had nowhere to go!
According The Gazette, at 2:30am that night, Christian who is homeless, wrapped his dog Buddy, a Doberman, with two blankets and held him in his arms, but Buddy still continued to shiver badly. Three shelters were all full, and the only shelter in Montreal that even accepts dogs, SOS Itinérance, had already closed.
In a panic, Christian went to a nearby Metro station (the subway) and ‘rapped on the glass as hard as he could’, but when two inspectors arrived, they refused to let him in as it was well past closing time. Having nowhere to turn to, he returned to the streets.
Not long after, Buddy froze to death in his arms.
Since that tragedy, Gazette readers have since pledged their time, money, and support for the homeless with dogs.
A GoFundMe page started by Elad Cohen had, as of Tuesday evening, raised $2,155 in three days to help outfit 25 Montrealers who have a dog but either lack shelter or the means to ensure their dog stays warm.
The idea was to provide each person with $100 worth of goods: a dog jacket, dog boots, hand warmers, a survival blanket, as well a tuque and gloves for the dog’s owner.
And other organisations are also trying to help different ways.
I don’t know what else to say other than I wish people were more empathetic towards someone in a life threatening situation, like those subway inspectors…
They didn’t realise it was -26 C outside? It can kill anyone outdoors for too long.
I love dogs, they give you love not caring who you are, and this story kills me too.
A loyal friend is gone, and a man just lost his warmest connection to the world.