Photo of “Hugging” Shelter Dogs Goes Viral, Saves Their Lives

ht_hugging_dogs_kab_150721_16x9_992A photo of two dogs in a shelter that appear to be "hugging" has captured the attention of the world.

When Angels Among Us Pet Rescue volunteers saw the heartbreaking photo of Kala and Keira, they knew they had to try to help. They reached out to their community of Facebook followers asking for a foster home and donations to help to cover the two dogs' veterinary expenses. It took just two hours for a foster to be found and donations to be raised, and the pair was spared from euthanasia just 12 hours before their deadline.

Kala and Keira are now in a loving foster home together and will be spayed and receive full veterinary workups before becoming available for adoption in about 2 weeks. Contrary to some media reports, the pair has not been adopted yet. Click here if you'd like to apply to adopt them.

As a volunteer with Angels Among Us and also as someone who studies dog training and behavior, I find the photo itself fascinating. Part of my volunteer responsibilities with the rescue involve going into shelters and evaluating dogs for temperament, and I can't tell you how many times I've seen similar examples of comforting-type behavior between dogs in shelters. The dogs often times don't know each other prior to ending up in the shelter together, and yet within hours or days you'll see them snuggled up together, seemingly seeking some sort of reassurance and normalcy from one another. Some might call this anthropomorphizing, but as someone with a solid understanding of canine cognition and behavior, I truly believe that many dogs do comfort each other in shelters.

I love that the message the rescue group wants to get out with all the publicity surrounding this story is that wonderful dogs like Kala and Keira face euthanasia daily, and adopting and rescuing truly does save lives. Most dogs don't get this type of exposure, which is why stories like this are so helpful in teaching the general public about the pet overpopulation problem we have in this country. So if you are in any way moved by this photo or story, consider adopting your next dog, or reach out to your local shelter or rescue group to find out their volunteer opportunities. I've found that once a person truly sees firsthand the plight of dogs in shelters, it changes their perspective forever.

Dogs don't have a voice, so let's use ours.

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Positively Expert: Alex Andes

Alex Andes is the owner and head trainer of Peach on a Leash Dog Training & Behavior Services in Atlanta, GA.


2 thoughts on “Photo of “Hugging” Shelter Dogs Goes Viral, Saves Their Lives

  1. RSM

    We should start euthanizing murderers and rapists and pedophiles, and use the space to house the homeless and mentally ill and abandoned/stray animals.

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