Chalk one up for the power of social media. A dog was left at Jackson Rabies Control Animal Shelter in Tennessee because his owner claimed the animal is “gay.” The dog, scheduled for euthanasia on Jan. 31, has been saved and given a new life thanks to a Facebook campaign that went viral.
Jackson TN Euthanasia, a Facebook group that raises awareness of the dogs scheduled to be put down at the shelter, posted a photo of the dog on Wednesday. The post explained how the animal, an American bulldog mix, came to be left at the shelter:
This guy was signed over to RC, not bc he's mean or bc he tears things up, but because... His owner says he's gay! He hunched another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a "gay" dog! Even if that weren't the most assinine [sic] thing I've ever heard, its [sic] still discrimination! Don't let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior! He's in kennel 10L and he WILL be put down tomorrow bc there is no room at the inn!
The post quickly went viral, with Facebook users sharing the dog’s story – and that of its owner – nearly 4900 times as of this writing. Many of the more than 1700 comments on the post directly addressed the “asinine” behavior of the owner.
Comments addressed a variety of points, from the owner’s anti-gay position or ignorance to concern for the dog's fate. Many pointed out that a dog might mount another dog for any of several reasons, including, as The Atlantic Wire points out, a way to show dominance. Some posters expressed concern that the owner might adopt another animal.
But there is another side to this story, a happier one. Many people reached out as the story went viral, thanks in part to Gawker picking up the story, and sought to save the “gay” dog. People started discussing ways to save the dog from being put down.
The Tennessean contacted the Jackson Rabies Control Animal Shelter. A worker said many people had contacted the shelter about the dog. “I have had about 10 million calls this morning. It has been adopted already. It is gone,” he said. “He’s in good hands.”
Stephanie Fryns a vet tech from Jackson, rescued the bulldog mix and named him Elton. Fryns told ABCnews.com that she had spotted Elton on an adoption website and had planned to rescue him before the story went viral.
According to Fryns, Elton weighs 50 pounds and “was pretty friendly so far. He’s pretty scared of everything, which is understandable. But he loved the car ride.”
Meanwhile, The Tennessean has a useful, and humorous, suggestion for people who want to show their support.
“Anyone who’s disappointed with that news [of Elton’s adoption] can adopt one of the other available dogs, which may or may not be gay.”
As "Seinfeld" fans might add, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."