CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A homeless dog owner, who recently gained attention on social media for choosing to stay on the street instead of parting ways with his pet, is getting help.
"He's my best friend and service dog," Alan Lord said. "He's all I have."
After living on the street for a year, Lord and his four year old golden lab, Levi, were put up in a local motel thanks to an anonymous Good Samaritan. Officials with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control said Levi is healthy and gave Lord a tag, allowing him to keep his beloved pet on a leash when they are outdoors instead of inside a crate.
They are also helping him connect with his brother in Hawaii. Lord said he wants to raise money to fly there so he and his dog can stay with family.
"We are working with that family member to help in any way we can," Melissa Knicely, with Animal Care and Control said.
Lord had been criticized by some animal lovers who were upset that he kept Levi in a crate on the street. Some were also upset that Lord took in donations but wouldn't go to a shelter to seek help.
Lord said he won't go anywhere that will separate him from his best friend who he trained to be a service dog after injuring his back.
"It's not their life. It's me and my dog's," Lord said, in response to online criticism. "I'm trying to do everything to make sure my dog is taken care of the way he needs to be."
Lord tells FOX 46 he is grateful for whoever paid for him and Levi to get temporary shelter.
"I'd like to say thank you for getting me and my best friend off the street," he said. "Everything should be going in the right direction."