Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog Who Was 2 Days Away from Being Put Down Snuggles His Rescuer During Ride Home


Schenley and Joe Kirk are real-life superheroes. The husband and wife duo are the founders of HOUND Rescue and Sanctuary, a non-profit dog rescue group whose mission is Helping Overlooked Unwanted Neglected Dogs.

The kindhearted animal lovers frequently travel to high-risk pounds and shelters and look online in search of condemned animals in need of rescuing.

So when Schenley came across the picture of a 2-year-old beagle named Gregory, she knew she had to help.

Gregory was found as a stray in Ohio, most likely abandoned by his owners. The shelter that initially found him thought he was perfectly healthy — until they discovered that he was heartworm positive.

Unable to pay for his $400 treatment, the shelter was forced to put him on the euthanasia list. He was listed as “rescue only” until May 3, and if no one took him home by then, he would be put down.

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So just two days before the dog was set to be put down, Schenley and Joe came up with a plan.

“My husband took the day off work to drive to the shelter, while I stayed home to take care of the other rescue dogs,” Schenley explained.

Joe made the two-hour trek out to pick up Gregory, and officially pulled him off the “rescue only” list on May 1.

And while they were happy to save the sweet pup’s life, they never expected a thank you from him. But pictures Joe took on their “freedom ride” home show just how thankful Gregory was.

“On the way back home, he decided he was going to take a couple selfies of our new rescue, which I got after him a little bit for since he’s not supposed to take pictures while driving — but considering the photos he captured I couldn’t complain too much.”

Joe decided not to put Gregory in a kennel on the ride home, since he’d probably been caged up for quite a while, so he tethered him to the backseat instead.

Joe then captured the moment Gregory, who could just barely reach his shoulder, snuggled up to him in gratitude.

“[Joe] sent me three photos,” Schenley said, “and in the last one, little Gregory had leaned his head over, as if to say, ‘You saved my life. I knew I was going to die at that shelter, but you saved me today.’

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“And just the look in his eyes — the thankfulness, the appreciation and the love of this little dog — it’s as if he knows his life has been saved.”

Since then, Gregory has been adjusting well to life as he begins his heartworm treatment.  His story has also gone viral, meaning plenty of adoption applications have flooded in.

“He is very loving, very affectionate,” she said. “He loves to be next to you. He loves to give kisses.”

In two months, an interested couple in Columbus, Ohio, will have a meet and greet with Gregory once he is cleared by his vet.

“That is why we do what we do,” Schenley said. “That is what makes it all worthwhile, knowing that we are able to save the lives of these dogs in need.

“And their appreciation and the love they give back is amazing. There’s nothing better.”

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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