Okla. dog's life changes after rising from 'dead'

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2011 10:04 PM
Okla. dog's life changes after rising from 'dead'

A stray dog who survived an attempt to put him to sleep at an Oklahoma animal shelter has become a canine celebrity, with thousands seeking to adopt him, an appearance on a national television show and growing concerns about his safety as his fan base increases.

Wall-E was among several dogs abandoned by the Sulphur Animal Shelter less than a month ago. A local veterinarian tried to euthanize the puppy due to overcrowding, but he somehow survived.

Now, about 3,000 people have expressed interest in adopting him and $1,200 has been donated for his care. He was flown to New York City to appear on "Good Morning America." Concerns about his safety have arisen as some people have said they want to breed him to make money.

Veterinarian technician Amanda Kloski, who works at Arbuckle Veterinarian Clinic, has been surprised by some of the phone calls and e-mails the clinic has received. She 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.

Kloski began caring for Wall-E when he was found alive in a trash bin a day after he was injected twice _once in the foreleg and once in the heart _ with a lethal dose of a sedative.

She noted the dog's survival on a pet adoption website, drawing the attention of Marcia Machtiger of Pittsburgh, who helps rescue dogs. After Machtiger shared Wall-E's story on Facebook, the offers for a new home began pouring in.

The most promising people are being sent a formal application.

Sorting out who wants the dog named after the Disney movie character for the right reasons has been a time-consuming task, Kloski said.

"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.