Homeless Man Among Hurricane Evacuees at Convention Center Grooms Displaced Pets: 'I Wasn't Raised Not to Help'
Stanley Baizle, 59, stepped up to help a handful of dogs who'd weathered the storm
On Thursday, Sasha Von Troetsch, a Houston dog groomer, rounded up 50 volunteers to bathe and pamper the almost 100 dogs displaced by Harvey who were seeking shelter with thousands of human evacuees at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.
“While we were there, someone came up to me and said, ‘Stanley, an evacuee, wants to help,’ ” Von Troetsch tells PEOPLE. “I went over to talk to him and he said, ‘I’m a groomer, I’ve been grooming for over 29 years.’ ”
Von Troetsch welcomed the help for the dogs, some of whom had terrible matting from their watery evacuation travails.
“He jumped right in, doing full grooms for these dogs,” she says.
It was only when a reporter for ABC13 came by and began asking Stanley questions did Von Troetsch and other volunteers discover that Stanley was also homeless.
Stanley Baizle, 59, told ABC13 he was a dog groomer in his former life, before he ended up homeless two years ago, most recently living in a Houston park. (And even while homeless, he says he occasionally grooms the pets of neighbors around the park.)
Baizle journeyed 24 miles seeking refuge from the storm before ending up at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
“We asked him, ‘Why did you [volunteer to groom the animals]?’ and he said, ‘I wasn’t raised not to help,’ ” Von Troetsch recalls.
“His volunteering,” she says, “shows how giving most people are no matter what situation they are in.”
Baizle expertly groomed 10 dogs and now Von Troetsch is on a mission to help him get back on his feet and return to the grooming business.
Says Von Troetsch: “We asked him ‘What do you need?’ And he said, ‘I want a job.’ ”
“I can’t walk away from this, not doing something for him,” she says. “I believe we are placed in certain places for a reason — maybe he was there to get help.”
Von Troetsch, who owns a mobile grooming company specializing in senior pets called Your Hipster Pets, is unable to hire Baizle.
However, if you’re interested in helping Baizle, please send Von Troetsch a Facebook message; she has a way of contacting him.
“We want to help him,” she says, “any way we can.”