A pair of dogs, who became an internet sensation last week after a picture surfaced of them hugging, have tested positive for the parvovirus.
Etowah County Humane Society pups Kala and Keira have a story that started similar to thousands of dogs in need of a forever home at shelters across the country. They were facing euthanasia because of overcrowding and too little funding, but a one-in-a-million opportunity at fame gave them a second chance at a new life.
It was a simple picture, Kala had her paws wrapped around Keira's neck in a tight hug offering support in a tough environment. Add in a compelling, first person narrative from the dogs point of view written by a volunteer with Angels Among Us Pet Rescue.
"She's so brave and tells me it will be okay no matter what happens. She tells me to be brave too but I don't know if I can be. Can you see our faces. Keira knows what will happen. You can see it in her eyes. She's putting on a brave face for sure but I can feel her heart beating fast while I'm clinging to her. If no one saves us, someone will take her away from me. I'll see her as she goes down the hallway. She won't come back and I'll cry."
Within hours the pups post on the Angels Among Us Facebook page was off in the webesphere - being shared thousands upon thousands of times and a foster stepped forward offering to take the pair in. But their internet fame was still growing by the minute. LuAnn Farrell Co-founder of Angels Among Us says this not only speaks to the importance of social media but helps rescue groups everywhere.
“The power of social media allows us to spread our message across quickly. The Facebook post has brought heightened awareness to rescue and rescue groups. People are proud to have a rescue. Rescuing a pet is fashionable now. Celebrities are getting involved and raising awareness," said Farrell.
However most people don't know Kala and Keira aren't long term friends. They didn't start off as best buddies. They came into the shelter independently of each other but were put into a kennel together and became instant friends. They have been inseparable ever since.
Since the picture was posted, the duo have even appeared on Fox&Friends! They have been happily smiling for photos, sharing food bowls, playing fetch and enjoying time with their foster moms while awaiting their perfect adoptive family to come forward.
However, there has been one minor setback for duo. They tested positive for the parvovirus on Monday, which is a very common virus contracted by shelter dogs. It is contagious and the dogs have been quarantined at a partner animal hospital, according to Angels Among Us. They will most likely be hospitalized for several days since it's a mild case.
"Keira had her head down and was moping on Sunday night so Kala slept next to her. At the animal hospital, Kala can't see Keira but they are next to each other so she could smell her," said Anne Clarke with Angels Among Us. "We have asked the vet staff to walk them together. These hugging pups are truly bonded."
If you would like to apply to add the bonded pair to your family you can fill out an application on the AAUPRs website. You can also see a list of their other animals available for adoption.