Lifestyle Pets California Man Raising Money for Homeless 'Angel' Who Rescued and Cared for His Missing Dog Rick has already raised more than $3,000 for the homeless man who reunited him with his dog, Maya By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 19, 2018 12:32 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Go Fund Me “Angels walk amongst us,” starts Rick’s GoFundMe campaign. The California man started the fundraiser for James, a homeless man who cared for one of the most important individuals in Rick’s life: his dog Maya. Recently, the 9-month-old rat terrier ran away from home, and even after his searches turned up nothing, Rick was confident his furry friend was all right. “I just had this crazy feeling that she wasn’t hiding out or dead but in the company of someone that temporarily needed her. Maya means ‘magic’ and that’s what this dog is,” Rick writes on GoFundMe. It turns out, the owner was right. After escaping her house, Maya crossed paths with an “angel man” named James. James is man living out of his car in East Hollywood; he’s also known as ‘Canine’ because of his deep love for dogs. When a friend and fellow homeless man first found Maya, he brought her to James because he knew the man deeply cared about dogs and had recently gone through the death of his own canine companion. In the first few hours of caring for Maya, James noticed the dog was wearing ID tags with a phone number on them. James, who does not have a cellphone, tracked down a phone and called the number, which connected him with Rick. “I can’t truly express the emotions I felt when I finally got that call. I could feel the warmth of James’ heart through that conversation. He said that once he saw that she belonged to someone, he was devastated and knew what I was going through,” Rick shares. Touched by the man who had so little giving back so much, Rick decided he had to pay it forward and find a way to help James as well. Maya’s owner gave James $200 when he first gave the dog back to Rick, but it was a struggle to get him to accept even that much. “He just wanted to get her back to the person who loves her the most. It was all about love for James. After several attempts, I insisted he take the money and wouldn’t accept NO for an answer. James started to cry. He needed the money but didn’t want to make it about that. He was so grateful,” Rick writes on GoFundMe. James, Rick believes, thinks he will never seen the dog owner and Maya again — but Rick wants to prove him wrong. He is raising money to help the angel who saved his dog so James knows his kind actions matter, and so he will have the means to continue to do good for himself and others. Rick has already raised more than $3,000 for James thanks to 125 donations. You can contribute to the campaign here.