A grateful pit bull could not stop hugging his new human Mother after she was adopted from the shelter. A picture-perfect hug was captured on photo and instantly went viral once it was posted online. It is evident from the photo that grateful pets reciprocate compassion and love, too.
Adopt a shelter dog. Experience a miracle.
20-year-old Kayla Filoon loves to spend time with homeless dogs. She volunteered as a dog walker at an animal shelter in Philadelphia, the ACCT Philly. When Filoon met Russ, a 4-year-old quiet pitbull with patchy fur, she knew immediately that he was the perfect dog for her.
“He came in as a stray, and he was really beat up,” Filoon told The Dodo. “He was missing fur on his tail and ears. He was also terribly skinny. They told me he was about 40 pounds when he came into the shelter.”
Filoon knew what a delightful dog he was behind the rough appearance. “He was just sitting there calmly, staring at me,” Filoon said. “And I thought, he is adorable! I need to take him now.”
When Filoon came back later to check on Russ, the dog had barely moved. “He was sitting in the same position that he was before, just being quiet while the other dogs were barking and causing a commotion,” Filoon said.
She walked Russ for about 45 minutes, but it only took about five minutes for her to fall in love with him. “He was really cuddly with me, even when we went into the yard,” Filoon said. “He seemed like such a sweet dog, and he didn’t bark at any of the other dogs.”
Filoon wondered if Russ used to belong to someone since he knew basic dog commands like down, sit, and stay. Poor Russ was left in a shelter in such a terrible condition.
After the walk, Filoon reluctantly put Russ back into his kennel. Then she called her mom.
“I told her, ‘I think I need to adopt a dog tomorrow,'” Filoon said. “My mom thought I was kidding, because I always fall in love with the dogs that I take out – it’s hard not to. So she didn’t really believe me, but there was something about Russ.”
The shelter recently euthanized about 15 dogs due to overcrowding at the time, and Filoon knew she had to do something about Russ’s situation, urgently.
“Any dog had a chance of being put down, especially the ones who were sicker, and Russ was definitely one of them,” Filoon said. “He had kennel cough.”
Filoon had to attend classes the next day, but as soon as she was done, she rushed back to the shelter. When it was Russ’s turn for a walk, she took him out on a car ride, instead.
“He just sat in my passenger seat,” she said. “I thought, ‘He’s the perfect dog.'”
When they returned to the shelter, Filoon did not want to go home without Russ. She quickly organized his adoption papers with the help of the shelter staff.
“I took him home that night,” Filoon said.
When they arrived home, she had to tell her six other housemates about Russ. Luckily, they adored him, too. It took quite some time for Russ to get used to the new environment, though he slept most of the time because he still had to recuperate from his kennel cough.
Immediately, Russ loved his new life and his new Mom, Filoon. He quickly had adjusted to his new home. “He always has to be close to me,” she said.
“One night I’m sitting there on the chair, doing my homework, and he’s trying to find ways to cuddle with me,” Filoon said. “There was a whole other sofa open, and we had his bed on the floor, but he didn’t want to lie anywhere else. So he ends up positioning himself, and I look down, and I think, “Oh my gosh, look at him.'”
While Filoon was busy doing homework, her friend captured a photo of Russ hugging his Mom and posted it on her social media account. The image quickly went viral. Filoon hopes that the photo will inspire people who are planning on adopting shelter animals.
“He’s such a love bug, honestly,” Filoon said. “I’ll be lying there, and he’ll put his head under my arm, or his paw over my chest. And he’ll even lay on my chest.”
“I was worried that when I brought him home, his attitude might change,” she said. “But he’s still the same relaxed, I’ll-lay-down-and-cuddle-with-you kind of dog. He’s probably one of the most grateful dogs I’ve ever seen.”
To help more dogs like Russ, make a donation to ACCT Philly.