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Community Bands Together To Help Great-Grandmother Keep Her Dogs

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Mary Magdalene Root
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HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (WJZ) — An 81-year-old great-grandmother is back in her home with her dogs this weekend. This, after a Harford County judge banned her pets from returning to the neighborhood.

As Gigi Barnett reports, good Samaritans are making sure the dogs and their owner have a sweet homecoming.

It’s a weekend of repairs at Mary Root’s Havre de Grace home. The 81-year-old needs a slew of major renovations on her house. Without the repairs, she’ll have to give up her six dogs.

“They’re going to help with the kitchen floor–it was all coming up–and the plumbing,” Root said. “The electrical is not good.”

Back in February, Root nearly lost her pets. Animal workers caught the dogs running loose in the neighborhood last year. That’s when the county ordered her to shell out $7,000 in fines. When she couldn’t pay up and failed to attend a court date on her doctor’s orders, a judge threw her in jail and banned the dogs from the house.

The decision caused an outcry among her neighbors.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was like, `There’s got to be something I can do to help her keep her dogs in her yard,” said contractor Maxwell Casey.

Casey heard her story and went to work, founding “Friends of Mary Root,” comprised of other companies and volunteers who would do the hard labor free of charge.

“It takes young legs to do that. We’re not going for marble floors and stuff; we just want it to be comfortable for her in her later years,” Casey said.

With a special latch, her dogs won’t get out again–making Root one grateful grandma.

“I don’t know how to explain. I’m overwhelmed, I just want to cry,” Root said. “I never knew; I never had anyone really treat me like that.”

Root’s dogs are not yet back at home. They can’t return until the major repairs are completed.

The “Friends of Mary Root” are looking for more volunteers to help repair her home.

For information on how to volunteer or donate, email maxcasey1890@gmail.com. There’s an account set up at PNC Bank under “Casey Construction Services.”

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