Thieves Took Everything From Homeless Man And His Dog

A homeless man in Phoenix, Arizona, was recently dealt a soul crushing blow when someone stole all of his worldly possessions. Mary Ruderstaller first met John, and his dog, “Sampson,” shortly before Christmas. Ruderstaller had observed John and his dog sitting at the same corner, day after day, and one day she stopped to ask if Sampson had enough food and water.

What ensued was a sweet friendship…Ruderstaller brought John lunch each day and after her friends learned about the situation, they decided to donate funds to buy a pet trailer for Sampson, as well as new clothes for John.

The act of kindness was wiped out last week when someone took advantage of a situation and stole the few possessions that John called his own. Ruderstaller explained what happened to Shelter Me, “John kept all of his brand new clothes and belongings in it (pet trailer). His dog Sampson rides in it when he gets tired. John was charging up his cell phone in a public outlet on Wednesday while taking a nap with his dog next to it. Someone stole his trac phone, knapsack, bike and new attached pet trailer with everything in it.”

Items which were donated and then stolen

Once again, Ruderstaller is doing her utmost to help John and his beloved dog. After learning of the sad situation, she created a YouCaring fundraiser to help replace the items which were cruelly taken from John. Already, over $1,000 in funds have been donated (click here to read more).

The Facebook page, Search for Sassy, is hoping that someone will have information about the crime which was committed. A request for information was posted to the page days ago:

If you have seen the bike and the pet trailer PLEASE sent a private message to Facebook page Search for Sassy.

Access Search for Sassy’s Facebook page here.


Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Mel says:

    Just donated moments ago as was blown away to see this story on the news tonight. I had the pleasure of approaching and speaking to John and a well mannered puppy Sampson in summer of 2013! I will never forget what a responsible dog owner John was and how well trained Sampson was! I looked for them on my way to work daily and always relieved just seeing them knowing they got through another day. I wanted to do something but didn’t know what! I’ve since changed jobs last summer and no longer make that drive and to see this story! Mary is an angel! May God bless her, John and Sampson! Praying they find a home over their heads and if we could contribute somehow to that monthly , would love to!

  2. Jake sander says:

    What would be even better is finding John and Sampson a place to live and help him get on his feet. I would donate to that, but while replacing all his stuff is a sweet gesture arent you worried the same thing will happen again

  3. Morgana says:

    Please help this man find his soulmate, it is heartbreaking the whole story, I am so sad, God bless you kind lady

  4. Catherine says:

    this should be put on the news station in Pheonix. I live in NW Arizona never heard about this

  5. Jane Heltebrake says:

    What a cruel world, which we live in. Thankful for the kind, caring people, who are assisting this homeless man and his dog. So many thanks to Mary.

  6. Renee Brillant says:

    I was just wondering where’s the humanity. How very cruel of someone to steal from a man who has nothing. Bless these angels on earth for helping him and his dog.

  7. Ranny Musy says:

    I have to agree with Joyce that this is truly a crime. When someone takes everything you have in their world, it is truly sad. I hope they find who is responsible for this because stealing from someone who has nothing is just so wrong. Those who are guilty of this are heartless bastards and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

  8. L says:

    Maybe a bike lock for both the bike and the pet trailer

  9. Lori Bridges says:

    I’ve known about the Facebook page Search for Sassy for many years..They are wonderful. They’ve helped reunite so many animals with their loved ones. It’s a very dedicated group and one of the most compassionate ones I know of on Facebook.
    It’s heartbreaking what people do. I’m thankful that Sampson wasn’t stolen too.
    Mary is so wonderful to have helped this man and his best friend.
    I hope his items are found :'(

  10. jenelle says:

    i will pray for him and his dog my number i would willing to give to them

  11. Teresa Laurence says:

    Thanks for caring! I’ve donated & shared. ❤🐾❤🐾❤🐾

  12. Joyce McCarty says:

    It’s always a testimony to humanity when someone steals from someone who has nothing! Mary Ruderstaller is truly an angel here on earth helping this poor man and his dog and it breaks my heart that someone could steal from this man!. I pray they find who did this!

Comments are closed.