JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On this Christmas Eve, Monique -- as she has come to be known -- and her youngest son were all smiles.
"I'm excited," she said, beaming. "I'm happy."
First Coast News profiled Monique's family over the last 2 weeks after someone stole all of their Christmas gifts and killed their family dog. A secret Santa stepped in and replaced the gifts. Kathy LeHockey, of Jacksonville, saw the stories.
"And I started to cry," LeHockey said. "And I said 'we've got to do something.'"
Which is why we went to the Jacksonville Humane Society. LeHockey decided to get Monique's family a new dog, and all that comes with it.
"I just thank God for them, the secret Santa, I thank God for Miss Kathy." said Monique. "And I thank God that they're a blessing to me."
After exchanging a hug, they went through the adoption center to look for a new dog
"The only thing I ask for is that when Monique can, when she has the possibility," LeHockey said, "-- it does not have to be monetary, it does not have to be a pet, but pay it forward."
The search continued.
Monique said, "I will pay it forward."
The shelter recently adopted out more than 100 animals, so there wasn't a wide selection. The shelter's executive director said it was a rare but very good position for the shelter to be in. As the search went on, a counselor brought out a small, black dog that had just been shaved. His name was Scruffy, and he was found on the street.
"Aww ... " Monique said as she held Scruffy.
In the end, Monique decided to wait. LeHockey gave Monique a $500 gift certificate to the shelter.
"Thank you. Thank you so much," Monique said, as she sat next to LeHockey.
LeHockey replied, "We're happy that you and your family can have a nice Christmas."
First Coast News