AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Your is help needed after a dog and his homeless veteran owner was separated due to medical reasons.
Unfortunately, the happy reunion planned by CSRA Forgotten Souls is not happening. The director told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson, Tic Tac’s owner, William Fogal passed away just a few days after he was taken to the VA hospital. Devin spoke with the two Richmond County deputies who found Fogal and Tic Tac sleeping in a hot car.
“I went out on a call for a suspicious white man sleeping in a vehicle,” Explained Richmond County Deputy, Kelly Runyon. “The caller thought the person was dead.
Deputies Runyon and Patrick Brown say Fogal, and his dog Tic Tac was living in a car in downtown Augusta. They noticed both were in terrible physical condition.
“We just took it one step further and said ‘hey are not just going to let you sit out here,” said Runyon.
Deputy Brown says the man refused medical attention because he didn’t want to be without the only thing he loved; Tic Tac.
“I told him we didn’t want anything to happen to the dog,” said Brown. “No matter what we will make sure Tic Tac was taken care of.”
It took some convincing.
“He explained to us where he was coming from,” explained Brown. “He was retired from the Army, and I tried to connect with him being I’m veteran myself. He said he was a former deputy in Columbia County and retired firefighter as well.”
Eventually, Fogal was taken to the VA hospital, and Tic Tac was sent to a shelter. CSRA Forgotten Souls has been caring for the dog until the two were both healthy. But the rescue group learned Fogal passed away. Now the group is looking for a forever home for Tic Tac.
“Technically, a dog here in the state of Georgia is classified as a belonging,” explained director with CSRA Forgotten Souls, Gina Gonzalez. “If there is no next to kin, then yeah we would be able to make that decision to keep him locally here.”
Though the deputies are heartbroken to hear of Mr. Fogal’s death, they told Devin people like him are the reason you approach every situation with an open mind; because you never know what will happen.
“You people to treat you with respect and kindness,” explained Runyon. “That’s what we do, and we try to do that with every call we are on.”
Gonzalez says she has been looking for Fogal’s relatives, but it is at a standstill. Forces United will have a memorial for William Fogal next Wednesday.
Click here if you would like to help Tic Tac.
Photojournalist: Will Baker