“To you, they are the ‘Hugging Dogs,'” said Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, “but to us, they are the poster girls of the homeless pet crisis in Georgia.”
The hugging dogs in question were Kala and Keira, two puppies scheduled for euthanasia at a “high kill” shelter in north Georgia in 2015, but a photo of the pair locked in a heart-wrenching embrace ignited an internet frenzy. Their photo went viral on Facebook after Atlanta-based dog rescue charity Angels Among Us (AAU) shared it with their followers.
PLEASE NOTE: THESE PUPS ARE SAFE AND HAVE BEEN ADOPTED. FREEDOM RIDE POSTED…
The “high kill” shelter, far from being demonized, was lauded for its full cooperation with the charity’s efforts to home the two pups. The shelter has a time limit on how long rescue animals can be housed. Shelters everywhere are massively overstretched and underfunded, and are often at the mercy of constant pressure to make space for new intakes of needy animals.
Today reported that in Georgia, strays are only housed for three to seven days before being put down. “Tax money is not going to cover housing these animals,” Anne Clarke from AAU revealed. “The non-profit side of the world has to help.”
AAU posted the nervous puppies’ tear-jerking mugshot immediately, along with a plea for help. “I’m Kala. This is Keira. We’re so scared in here,” the emotive first-person message began. “The people working in the shelters see how scared we are, but just told each other that today is our deadline.”
The post ended with an ultimatum from the charity: “Today is their last day unless we can save them.” These urgent words were shared over 9,000 times, and in a glorious testament to the power of collaboration, messages of love and support flooded in. But perhaps more importantly, the offers came too.
THEY ARE SAFE!!! There are no words to tell you how happy we are that these two best friends are safe and together! …
“From the time we posted on Facebook until the time the dogs were out of the shelter and safely in the car,” the charity shared on Facebook, joyfully: “2 hours and 6 minutes. That’s how you take action!”
In a later update, the charity shared their heartfelt gratitude for the lightning-fast response of Atlanta’s animal lovers. “We can do amazing things when we all work together!” they said. Not only were the pups spared their grim fate, but they were gifted the opportunity to live out their days in a safe and loving home, together.
“When they went on a run in the shelter,” Clarke told Today, “they bonded and they would play. Their personalities are perfect for each other.” It was only right that the pair be homed together.
Since their extraordinary viral photo set them free and raised awareness of the plight of homeless animals in Georgia, the hugging puppies have been busy advocating for animal adoption, responsible pet ownership, spaying, and neutering.
As of July 2016, Kala and Keira the “hugging dogs” have been living together in their forever home in Georgia. “Two Georgia residents, Pam and Wendy, stepped up to the plate as they had just lost two of their own elderly dogs,” reads the bio on Kala and Keira’s very own Facebook page. “The timing was just right.”
Pam saw a magazine story about the now-famous pair on Oct. 19, 2015, while at the hair salon. She couldn’t believe the dogs were still up for adoption but made the call anyway. “By Oct. 25, 2015,” the bio continues, “Kala and Keira had found their new forever home with Wendy and Pam!”
Al of 11Alive News is here at Joey D's Oak Room covering our Two Hugging Dogs Kala & Keira. Come on by they will be here until 8pm!!
AAU had the last, earnest word: “This is why we rescue.”