Published March 16, 2011
A stray dog who survived a veterinarian’s attempt to put him to sleep at an Oklahoma animal shelter has developed into something of a canine celebrity, and thousands are looking to adopt him.
The dog, WALL-E, was featured in national news stories, has appeared on “Good Morning America” and is the focus of breeder interest.
The three-month-old puppy was abandoned outside Sulphur Animal Shelter in Oklahoma with the rest of his litter. A local vet euthanized the dogs because they appeared to be very sick and put them in a trash bin outside the shelter.
But when animal control officer Scott Prall took a peek inside the container the next morning, one puppy was very much alive. "He was just as healthy as could be," Prall told Oklahoma News 9.
The surviving puppy was named "WALL-E," after the garbage-collecting robot in the Disney-Pixar animated movie of the same name. In the movie, the lovable WALL-E was the last of his kind.
After the shocking discovery, vet technician Amanda Kloski, who works at Arbuckle Veterinarian Clinic, took the puppy in temporarily. When a woman in Pennsylvania named Marcia Machtiger heard WALL-E's incredible story, she wrote about him on Facebook, prompting people from all over the U.S. to call the veterinary clinic and offer him a home.
About $1,200 has been raised for WALL-E’s care and the shelter told News 9 they have received almost 3,000 adoption applications.
Kloski said one man traveled from Arkansas to the clinic in Sulphur, about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City, offering to take WALL-E off her hands and breed him.
"It's been crazy," Kloski said Wednesday.
Since that incident, Wall-E has been going home with a designated individual each night, rather than staying at the clinic. Also, plans are to have WALL-E neutered before he is sent to a new home.
"We've gotten some applications that are obviously a no," she said. "But there's been some that I say, 'Wow, I wish they'd adopt me and my son."'
All the attention has brought renewed interest to the overcrowding issue at the Sulphur Animal Shelter. Donations from Texas and Washington have brought in about $220 for a new county-wide shelter in Murray County, said Audrey Ridlehoover, president of the Davis Oklahoma Animal Volunteers. Officials are hoping to raise $5,000 to $6,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.