PA animal groups help reunite disabled man with his dog

A Harrisburg-area man forced to leave his dog behind in Tennessee earlier this year after suffering a stroke was reunited with his beloved companion on Friday thanks to the joint effort of two mid-state rescue groups.

Neal Brooks of Steelton contacted the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance after learning that his dog Buster, whom he had left with a relative because of his health problems, had been tied outside without food, water or shelter. Brooks is wheelchair-bound and unable to drive, so he had no way to get his dog back.

CPAA contacted Dogs Deserve Better, an Altoona-based organization dedicated to ending the chaining of dogs, and founder Tamira Ci Thayne hit the road to get Buster.

Thayne said when she got to the house in Tennessee she found Buster, a Cocker Spaniel-mix dog, was 15 pounds underweight. The Hawkins County Sheriff¹s Department was notified about the dog's condition and is pursuing cruelty charges against Brooks' relative.

Meanwhile, Brooks and his best friend celebrated with a happy reunion captured on videotape.