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Smokey and his stuffed elephant were taken to the shelter on Valentine’s Day. Sadly, his family had lost their home and were unable to care for him. The shelter is a scary, noisy place. Like many dogs, Smokey didn’t respond well to shelter life. He clung to his favorite toy, that wasn’t to be separated from him per instructions. Fear overtook Smokey and he began to growl at people who approached him. His growling made Smokey “unadoptable” and he was scheduled for euthanasia.
The handsome, five-year-old pup had spent his entire life with one human, in a loving home. When tragedy struck and Smokey had to be surrendered, his human made sure he was at least in the company of his favorite toy, his plush elephant.
The noises and cold environment really got to Smokey. He began to growl at others, out of fear. Knowing what this meant for the scared dog, shelter staff reached out to local rescue groups, hoping they could rescue him in time.
Due to policy and overcrowding, Smokey was put on the schedule to be euthanized in just a few short weeks. Time was running out!
Smokey and his stuffed elephant needed help… FAST!
Thankfully, two volunteers from the nonprofit, I Have A Dream Rescue Organization came to the shelter to evaluate another dog on the rescue list. They spotted Smokey snuggling with his elephant and “instantly fell in love,” the group’s founder, Misti Martin-Fuller, told The Dodo.
The rescue group decided to save Smokey! They will place him, and his elephant, with a foster family until he can go back to his original family (if that’s an option) OR be adopted by a new family.
Smokey and his elephant are ALL SMILES once they learn they’re leaving the shelter.
“He was sad and laying with his elephant until she started to talk with him,” says Melissa Sutherland, I Have A Dream’s treasurer. “It is amazing what rescue does for dogs.”
Thanks to Smokey’s wonderful story going viral, the rescue group has had more interest than ever in their other dogs available for adoption. Way to go, Smokey!