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150 Healthy, Happy Dogs Found Living with Homeless Family in Arizona Desert

Pets bring joy to our lives and are typically considered part of the family. We all know someone who sleeps with their pets nightly, takes them on trips, and spoils them at every given opportunity. Recently a story came to light that is leaving people stunned. There is a family in Wittman, Arizona, who was supporting 150 dogs. What makes this story even more remarkable is that the family was homeless. Somehow this homeless family was able to care for, provide shelter to, and keep 150 dogs happy.

How Do We Know They’re Here?

Authorities received a call about a homeless family living on state land and have now been asked to vacate the property. Deputies arrived on the scene to escort the homeless family from the premises. Upon trekking through the property deputies stumbled on something rather unexpected and remarkable. Several rough and ready kennels and tents had been constructed using wire fences, tarps, and tents. After further inspection, it became clear these substitute homes contained a total of 150 dogs. 

Read: I’ve slept in cardboard boxes, vans and trucks. Now I live with my three dogs in a 25-foot sailboat

Health and Well-Being

After assessing the less than ideal living circumstances it has been noted these dogs are in better shape than anyone could have anticipated. The animals have been well cared for and the majority of these dogs are in good health. There are around 55 dogs in need of medical treatment but these are older dogs. Among the other roughly 100 dogs, were three dogs who’ve recently given birth to a litter of puppies. “It was extremely surprising,” said Caitlin Beall, director of Sky Sanctuary Rescue. “When we arrived on scene, everybody was well-fed, everybody happy, everybody socialized. Typically, you have very scared animals, and that just wasn’t the case, and that was a testament to how much these people cared.[1]

Guardian Angels for These Precious Animals.

Sky Sanctuary Rescue, located in Phoenix, Arizona, was contacted and informed of these unique circumstances. Founder, Elli Smith and current Director, Caitlin Beall, arrived anticipating far fewer dogs than they’ve ended up with. Their foundation has been tasked with a number of duties including providing medical care to the elderly dogs. They have ensured the dogs are now in the treatment and recovery process. As next steps, the animal rescue faces an even larger feat. They’ll need to provide food and shelter until these dogs can be adopted. In the meantime, they have plans to find foster homes for the animals who do not require medical assistance.   

Read: Annual Festival Honors Dogs For Their Loyalty And Friendship

If Nothing Else, Be Compassionate.

What is truly astounding about this story is the amount of love and compassion this homeless family has provided to these dogs. A homeless family with little to no resources has stretched their means to the fullest and managed to provide the dogs with mostly all they need. Despite the harsh desert conditions such as monsoons and the sun’s burning rays, the family has kept the dogs fed and cared for. By making kennels out of tarps and wire fences, these dogs have been provided with shelter and shade. It is unknown how this family managed to provide food for these animals but they made it work. This homeless family truly provides a gentle reminder to us all, to be kind in everything we do. We have a mentality that we are only one person in a sea of people so how can we make a difference? The reality is that every contribution made to the world creates just a little more light. “We see people that neglect animals with all the resources in the world,” Smith said. “To see people with nothing taking such good care of these animals, it was really heartbreaking.[1]

The reason for the family’s homelessness has not yet been disclosed nor has the reason for their required relocation. There are still several questions that have been left unanswered. However, what we do know is that rescuers are confident in their ability to find loving homes for each dog. We also know the homeless family has found a new place to call home. This story is an inspiring reminder of the importance of treating all living beings with compassion. It reminds us that even with limited access to resources, love and kindness are both easily spread.  

Keep Reading: A Kind Priest Brings Stray Dogs To Mass So They Can Find New Families


  1. 150 healthy, happy dogs found living with homeless family in Arizona desert.” WCTv. Jason Barry and Emily Van de Riet. August 19, 2022.