Cecil Williams will keep his guide dog

Cecil Williams and his dog

The Dillon Foundation steps in with other donors to help Cecil Williams keep his guide dog.

After hearing of Mr. Williams accident and the risk of losing his guide dog of so many years, the Dillon Foundation made an initial contribution to make this a better situation.

So far at least $100,000 have been raised so that Orlando, a soon-to-retire guide dog who jumped onto subway tracks to protect Cecil Williams from an oncoming MTA train in New York, can stay with his owner as a pet.

As a result of this effort, Williams will receive a new seeing-eye dog when Orlando retires, but he now will also be able to keep his four-legged companion of eight years as a pet.

As read on CSmonitor.com:

The pair came to public attention earlier this week in dramatic fashion, after a near-miss with a subway train. When Cecil Williams lost consciousness and fell off a subway platform and onto the tracks, his seeing-eye dog, Orlando, jumped after his owner, according to Associated Press reports. A northbound A-train rumbled toward the pair on the tracks of the 125th Street station, and both man and dog ducked, as the first two cars went over them before coming to a halt.

“The dog was sitting right in front of him [Mr. Williams], kind of like he was guarding him,” said Larmont Smith, a 15-year Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) veteran who was working at the station Tuesday morning and who saw the incident. “I give that dog a lot of credit,” Mr. Smith told the New York Daily News. “It was incredible. Normally an animal, or another human being, would run. That dog stayed right there.”

As it turned out, 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 until now.

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Update January 27, 2014. Click here to view.

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