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Homeless Sunnysider And His Two Dogs Find Aid In Local Canine Community

Rose and Stash, via GoFundMe

Rose and Stash, via GoFundMe

March 18, 2016 By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside man who was evicted from his 43rd Avenue apartment earlier this month was left wandering the streets until a number of local good Samaritans came to his aid.

Jong, whose last name has been withheld out of concern for his privacy, has lived in Sunnyside for more than a decade, before losing his job and being unable to pay his rent, according to his neighbor David Merino.

“He got into a slump and had not been out of his apartment in months,” Merino said.

Jong, left homeless after the eviction, had thrown his belongings into a shopping cart and moved onto the street, bringing his two shith tzhus Rose and Stash with him.

Merino spotted him at Lou Lodati Park days later and wondered what had happened to him. He then took action.

On March 9, Merino asked members of the Sunnyside United Dog Society via Facebook if anyone was available to look after Jong’s dogs. Merino, who has four dogs of his own, focused on trying to find food, clothing and shelter for Jong.

Merino’s request was met with an outpouring of support and sympathy. Several members of Sunnyside’s canine community knew Jong and wanted to help out.

“I’ve known him since 2007, when he would bring his two little shih tzus down to the park in the evening,” SUDS president Rick Duro said.

Jeannette Remak, a SUDS member, said by the time she got involved helping out, the dogs were in poor condition.

“We were surprised because he treated those dogs like gold,” she said.

The SUDS members convinced Jong to let one of them look after the dogs until he was more stable. Meanwhile, Merino and a number of SUDS members raised funds to put him in a motel for two nights.

While Jong was staying at the motel, Merino pressed on for a more permanent situation. He eventually tracked down Jong’s brother in Kentucky via Facebook.

Jong’s brother came to New York on Tuesday and took him with him to Kentucky on Wednesday.

Rose and Stash stayed behind in New York, since Jong’s brother lives in an apartment where dogs are not allowed, according to Merino. SUDS members are still caring for them and are raising funds via GoFundMe for their food, grooming and pet care.

Super Doggy Wonder Kitty on 43rd Street groomed the dogs for free.

The GoFundMe page reads: “We have members caring for them for the moment but they do need upkeep and they are all Jong wants to live for.”

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Mr.merino, thank you. I made my kids read this article so they can appreciate what you did. A great lesson in human compassion, something that is greatly missed in todays world


Merino & your team of supporters are the BEST EVER — thank you so much for being alert & extending your assistance to Jong, who clearly is a caring & compassionate man — thank God Merino intervened & turned around this sad & potentially tragic situation — I’ll be visiting the gofundme page. — Thank you to all the people who are true friends of Jong.

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Good job dave merino. You are the perfect example of what this world is unfortunately lacking, people who care.


SUCH a loving community! Good for each and every one of you! God rewards two fold for these acts of kindness!


Mr. Merino is a kind soul. He didn’t have to do anything for this guy but he did and saved three lives. I wonder if the person evicted ever went to Housing Court and if he was ever given any information about available resources.


A very sad situation was an opportunity to test our character ans willingness to help one of our own; as a SUDS member I had the privilege to take the puppies into my home and care for them as my own, Knowing Jon for many years I could not stand away but I had to help, doing what I do best, caring for his dogs was a privilege. My fellow pet parents were amazing, we were able to help and see a happy ending.


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