What a great early Christmas present indeed. Perhaps the season of giving is to thank, because the famous subway fall victim Cecil Williams will be able to keep his soon-to-retire guide dog.
Generous online donors gave at least $100,000 so that Orlando, a soon-to-retire guide dog who jumped onto New York subway tracks to protect Cecil Williams from an oncoming MTA train.
The duo received National media coverage earlier this week after the traumatic event took place. Cecil Williams had lost conciousness and fell of a subway platform and onto the tracks. His seeing-eye dog, Orlando jumped after his owner according to Associate Press reports.
A northbound A-train hauled toward the pair on the tracksof the 125th street station, when both man and dog ducked, as the cars went over them before coming to a stop.
“The dog was sitting right in front of him, kind of like he was guarding him,” said Larmont Smith, a 15-year old Metropolitan Transportation Authority veteran who was working at the station Tuesday morning and saw the incident. “I give that dog a lot of credit,” Mr. Smith told the New York Daily Times. “It was really incredible. Normally an animal, or another human being, would run. That dog stayed right there.”
In a sad turn of events, it turned out that Williams and Orlando were spending their last days together. Orlando, a black Labrador, is nearly 11 and is slated to retire as a service dog at the end of December, and Williams felt he could not responsibly afford to keep Orlando as a pet per Christian Science Monitor.
Obviously taken aback by the sad story, a good Samaritan, Mark Jacobson of Washington, D.C. came to William’s aid by starting a donation page on the online foundraising site GoFundMe. The page has raised more than $38,000 for the pair.
Another online fundraising website, Indiegogo, raised at least $67,000 through a page called “Help Cicil WIlliams keep his seeing eye dog Orlando”.
As a result of the combined efforts, Williams will recieve a new seeing-eye dog once Orlando officially retires, but will now be able to keep Orlando as a pet.