Hero, a year and a half old retriever mix, was welcomed into an eternal home after helping five other dogs escape a dangerous situation of neglect in a hoarder’s home.
On November 13, 2020, a woman named Tonie Quinlin discovered the dog broke the boarded window of a house in Columbus, Nebraska. Quinlin was outside playing with a friend’s dog across the street when she noticed a dog was hanging out the window of the house, The Columbus Telegram reported.
After going on the inspection, she noticed that the dog was covered in feces and was panicking. She saw that the dog was very thin and smelled a terrible stench from the house. She called the police. When they arrived, they removed five dogs from the home.
Authorities took the dogs to the Paws and Claws Adoption Center. The center’s vet first found that the animals had scars, muscle wasting, sunken eyes, and thick skin due to lack of food.
Hero, a year and a half old retriever mix, found a home forever after helping five other dogs escape a dangerous situation of neglect in a hoarder’s home. In this photo a retriever puppy is sitting in a meadow.
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Even so, all of the dogs recovered. The workers at the center called the dog that alerted Quinlin “Hero”. They gave him this name because of his heroics and also because of his kind and high-energy personality.
One by one, people adopted the other dogs. However, Hero’s story received special attention on the adoption center’s social media. A widow named Carrie Herrera, whose husband Mario died last year serving in the Lincoln Police Department, saw the story of Hero and wanted to adopt him.
But before Hero got home, she sent him to Second Chance Pups, a program that teaches inmates of the Nebraska State Penitentiary basic obedience to protect dogs for nine weeks. Hero will complete the program on April 9th. At that point, Herrera will bring him home.
“I was nervous, to be honest,” Herrera told Telegram about her first meeting with Hero. “He was a bit nasty because he wasn’t around a lot of people, but he was super loving, very loving to us. It was also kind of emotional. It was nice.”
“I’m super excited,” she added. “The kids are excited. It will be a good addition for us.”
At the end of March, the story of another stray dog won over internet users. Sisu, a 1-year-old stray Labrador mix, went viral for repeatedly stealing a purple stuffed unicorn from a North Carolina dollar general store.
The animal control officer who brought Sisu in bought the stuffed animal for the dog. The photos of the dog and his unicorn reached a slight virality and helped Sisu get adopted.
Dollar General also donated more stuffed unicorns to Sisu’s adoptive family and donated dog food to the local animal shelter to honor their work.
Newsweek contacted the Paws and Claws Adoption Center for comment.