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Sheriff's office helps homeless man and his dog get an apartment

James Kelly and Diezel now have a place to call home.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
James Kelly

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — James Kelly has had a rough go of it for a while.

The 39-year-old has been homeless for 9 months – but he hasn’t been alone. His best friend Diezel, a 75-pound dog, has been by his side the whole time.

Kelly raised Diezel since he was a puppy.

Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Diezel the pit bull

The pair have struggled to find a place to live because Kelly gets around in a wheelchair due to an infected hip replacement. And, a lot of places aren’t too quick to rent apartments to people with giant pit bulls.

So, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office decided to help.

District 1 community resource deputies teamed up with the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative, Tampa Housing Authority, Community Pet Project and Pet Supermarket to hook them up with the basics.

Kelly received medical attention and a much-needed haircut. Diezel got a trip to the vet to get caught up on his shots.

And – now they have a place to call home.

Through public housing assistance, they moved into an apartment. But, HSCO wasn’t done yet.

The pair received some furniture, food clothing – and a fresh start.

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