Charles an apricot colored Labradoodle received more than a little attention this week after he was mistaken for a lion. The dog was spotted out on a walk after leaving his groomer. Soon calls began lighting up the switchboard at the Norfolk , Virginia 911 call center.
Dispatchers were dumbfounded by the flurry of 911 calls. "I'd like to report a lion sighting," a caller said. "Say that again?" the dispatcher responded.
A few minutes later, another call came in: "I just saw an animal that looked like a small lion. Had the mane and everything ... I don't know if it got away from the zoo, or what," a man said.
So the Norfolk Police Department contacted the Norfolk Zoo. Zoo officials were shocked .“We all looked at each other like"Could it be?", said Virginia Zoo executive director, Greg Bockheim. Zookeepers raced to see if any lions might have somehow escaped their enclosures. All of their big cats were quickly accounted for.
Then a caller realized the lion was a dog. He spoke to Charles' owner Daniel Painter and soon news media descended.
Daniel Painter who owns Charles had him groomed with a full lion cut. Painter said he did it to support his favorite college team the Old Dominion University Monarchs. Painter, told the WAVY that his dog is representing the Old Dominion University lion mascot
Charles is enjoying sudden celebrity since his sighting Tuesday, and is making rounds in national television morning shows.
He also has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CharlestheMonarch