NewsLocal News


Local man transitioning out of homelessness searching for missing dog

Local man transitioning out of homelessness looks for missing dog
Posted at 6:01 PM, Dec 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 21:42:22-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Transitioning out of homelessness is a process that can take years.

Anthony Gissendanner, a man working on finding a permanent home, said he has faced many challenges including the recent disappearance of his emotional support dog.

“He’s been emotional support because being out here…is hard,” said Gissendanner.

For the past two months, Gissendanner has been searching for Cyrus, his American Staffordshire Terrier Mix. He said Cyrus has helped him navigate the difficulties of homelessness since February 2019.

“I had lost my job…I was taking too much time off from work because my mom was dying. After that…I didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said.

Gissendanner said he found hope and help in one of the San Diego's safe sleeping sites.

“We try to give them the services necessary so they can better themselves and get back into the real world,” said Christopher Allen, who is the case manager of Dreams for Change, a local nonprofit helping people in need.

Allen said they’ve seen an increase in people seeking services. The city of San Diego also confirmed a continued surge in numbers since the opening of the O Lot in October.

Allen works closely with on-site residents to create a plan working towards permanent housing.

“I see them wake up with different energy every morning. Whenever I do my walk through I say how are you doing? What do you have going on today?" he said.

Gissendanner said the most beneficial part of the city’s safe sleeping site program is knowing that he has a home base to return to.

“To know that when I come back…if I go pass out flyers or anything…that my stuff and my place is going to be there," he said. "A lot of times when you’re homeless you come back and everything is gone."

Gissendanner also said he is on track to be housed, hopefully, by early next year. He even had a job interview lined up but said losing his dog has set him back temporarily.

“When I lost him…I basically shut down. Just to know that he’s wandering out there,” he said.

Gissendanner has been passing out flyers around town, hoping Cyrus finds his way back.

“He’s my buddy, I’m going to do anything I can for him," he said.

SEE RELATED- UPDATE: Local man reunites with lost emotional support dog