JACKSON, Tenn. (CBS Charlotte) - A bulldog that was sent to a kill shelter when its owner suspected it of being a homosexual has been adopted and saved from euthanasia, thanks to the power of the Internet.
What began as an image posted to the Facebook page of “Jackson TN Euthanasia” turned into a viral story and an overwhelming amount of phoned-in requests to adopt the animal from the Madison County animal shelter, according to The Tennessean.
“I have had about 10 million calls this morning. It has been adopted already. It is gone,” an employee at the shelter speaking anonymously told the paper. “He’s in good hands.”
The photo that started it all, which was posted Wednesday, showed the forlorn animal in a closed-off area wet with rain, looking bleakly through the fence.
“This guy was signed over to [Jackson Rabies Control], not [because] he’s mean or [because] he tears things up, but because … [h]is owner says he’s gay!” the caption under the photo explained. “He hunched [sic] another male dog so his owner threw him away [because] he refuses to have a ‘gay’ dog! Even if that weren’t the most assinine [sic] thing I’ve ever heard, it’s still discrimination!”
The post additionally threatened that the dog would lose his life today if he weren’t adopted, due to a lack of room at the facility.
The image – and the story – were picked up by Gawker and other media outlets, and was shared many times over on various social networking sites. The attention reportedly resulted in the dog’s adoption.
“I am adopting this big boy first thing in the morning,” wrote a woman who identified herself as Stephanie Fryns of WOOF Connections on Facebook, according to Gawker. “He will be neutered/ [heartworm] tested/ and vetted. He will be temperament tested and then places in a rescue verified and approved home.”
Comments continue to flood in on the initial image, many of them encouraging people who sought to adopt the “gay” dog to instead take on other animals in need of homes.
“Dog is SAFE … THERE ARE STILL 10 DOGS IN DANGER!” one comment read. “Please read the THREAD and help the other dogs.”
In addition to more than 1,400 comments as of Thursday afternoon, the photo had also been shared almost 4,400 times and “liked” by more than 500 Facebook users.