A homeless war veteran in Santa Barbara has been reunited with her service dog after being apart for more than a week.
Community members and local businesses stepped in after the pair were separated and the dog ended up at the pound.
Melody Baker says Animal Control took 3 1/2 year-old Reno away from her on October 15.
Santa Barbara police say Reno bit a man at Alameda Park and had to be quarantined by law.
Baker says Reno didn’t bite the man, but was protecting her from an attack.
Baker says she depends on Reno to survive. She is diabetic and Reno alerts her when her blood sugar is low.
After Baker’s story aired on KEYT/KCOY/KKFX, several people came forward offering to pay the $180 fee to get Reno out of the pound.
After 10 days apart, Melody and Reno were reunited Saturday.
Santa Barbara business Jump On The Bus transported Baker and friends to the shelter in Goleta to pick Reno up.
Baker said she wants to thank everyone in the community who helped her get Reno back, including the anonymous donor.
“He is my whole life. What he means to me I can’t define. All I can tell you is without him, I lose the ability to go on living,” Baker said.
Baker’s friend Sarah Farmer says while Reno was quarantined, Baker ended up in the hospital.
“Because Melody was without Reno for so long, she went through a diabetic episode. Her glucose levels dropped. She had to be taken to the emergency room. She was there for 36 hours,” Farmer said.
Farmer says she’s in awe about how the community came together to help Baker.
“It’s just really touching to see that people can reach out, and care and everybody can lift each other up,” Farmer said.