(WSVN) - It has been a rough couple of months for a Miami woman after a car crash left a hole in her fence and her heart, but immediately after her story aired on 7News, South Florida stepped up in a big way. 7’s Karen Hensel has our special assignment report.

When we first met Marilyn Gore, we learned the retired Miami-Dade Public Schools teacher grows most of her food in her yard.

Marilyn Gore, homeowner: “Papaya, coconuts, more mangoes.”

We also heard about her deep connection with her beloved Belgian Malinois, Max.

Marilyn Gore: “I talked to Max like you talk to a person.”

But on the night of Dec. 3, a two-car accident put into motion months of frustration and desperation.

The crash report found a woman “failed to stop” at a red light, sending a car driven by a police officer into Marilyn’s fence.

Marilyn Gore: “I heard, ‘Plank da plank.'”

Because it was the other driver’s fault, Miami-Dade County concluded it did not have to pay for the damage, and the other driver’s insurance company wouldn’t pay up.

Weeks later, with the fence down. Max ran into the street, was hit by a car and killed.

Marilyn Gore: “That day he died, he didn’t get to eat, and I was so heartbroken.”

But after our story aired a little more than a week ago, South Floridians immediately started reaching out to us, wanting to help Marilyn.

They emailed:

  • “I was distraught by this woman’s plight…”
  • “My heart is so compelled to try and help to do something.”

And they called.

  • 7News viewer voicemail 1: “I was trying to get involved and perhaps help this woman who had the fence problem, and her dog got killed.”
  • 7News viewer voicemail 2: “She was just heartbroken, and your story touched my heart.”

Dozens of calls and emails.

There were offers of money to help fix the yard and the hole in her fence, but also offers to make Marilyn’s family whole again.

Marilyn Gore: “Hello. Sweetheart, I love you.”

Marilyn’s family became whole thanks to Miami Canine Training, who donated a 2-year old German shepherd named Kat.

Marilyn Gore: “I love her, and she loves me, too. Thank you so much!”

Officer: “You’re welcome, you’re welcome.”

The rain did nothing to dampen this heartwarming moment.

We can’t show you who brought the dog because he’s an undercover officer with the North Miami Beach Police Department.

Officer: “One of my co-workers saw Karen’s video, and she was like, ‘Oh, we’ll start a potluck to get her a dog,’ and I was like, ‘No, I have one.’ We’re going to take it to you.”

One wet dog — and a new lifelong friendship.

Marilyn Gore: “I hugged her after I dried her off. I pat my leg, and she came on my lap, and we bonded like that. (snaps fingers) It was very special, and when it was time to go to bed, guess where she went: straight to my room. She slept in my room. I was so, so happy.”

Marilyn says she’s humbled by total strangers who have offered to help her.

Marilyn Gore: “There are a lot of people who have reached out, don’t even know me. To take their time and effort and pour their concern into someone who is a total stranger, that tells you about their humanity.”

The hole in the fence — and the hole in her heart — now filled.

Marilyn Gore: “It was a story made in heaven.”

One angel is a generous man who mailed us a check for Marilyn to cover the loan she took out to fix the fence. He said he was including a few extra dollars for a “nice dinner” and to “buy the new doggie some treats.”

A fellow schoolteacher of Marilyn’s has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover some of the other expenses from the crash and cleanup.

GoFundMe page for Marilyn Gore


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