ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — A few weeks ago, we introduced you to 74-year-old George Kocar, who has been feeding an army of neighborhood dogs in Rocky River for more than 15 years.
Since we shared his story, it's gone viral, with more than 560 shares on our Facebook post and hundreds of comments, praising his kindness. Television stations across the country have also shared his story, and now, George is getting calls from major publications.
"Yesterday, I got contacted by People Magazine, who might want to feature me on their smile page," George said.
He's humbled by the attention. Because, he's never asked for it.
"It's amazing. It's like ... I'm like, overwhelmed. I can't believe (it). I go, 'Who cares about some guy in Rocky River?'" George said, laughing.
But people do care. And, they're inspired to spread kindness, just like George does every single day.
A few days ago, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance contacted George about his story.
"They sent me six gigantic boxes of treats to give out to the dogs on my walk," he told us.
If we're crunching numbers, that's 10,095 to be exact. That's not all: This is about paying it forward, so the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance also donated to three other area shelters and Neighborhood Pets, a group that helps underserved communities in Cleveland take care of their animals. In all, more than 40,000 dog biscuits were donated.
"It's wonderful. It's so nice. They came by Tuesday and delivered a portion of the dog biscuits that they're donating. And our clients think this is so great because they're so appreciative of extra things like this, extra treats for their pets," said Becca Britton, executive director of Neighborhood Pets.
Kindness is going a long way for his art, too. Since showing his incredible paintings of animals in our story, George is getting requests from near and far.
"He wanted to order a portrait of his dog on eBay," George said of a man who commissioned him from Wyoming.
Lucky for us here in Northeast Ohio, George regularly posts portraits of dogs and cats on his Facebook page. He'll continue with his art, and as long as he can, he'll keep walking with those dogs.
"I will, as long as my legs hold out, but yeah, so far they're ... I'm not getting any younger," George said, chuckling.
For more information on George's art show at 78th Street Studios, click HERE.
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