A white bulldog named Elton, who was left at a shelter because its former owner thought it was gay, was saved from euthanasia by veterinary tech Stephanie Fryns thanks to an Internet campaign that went viral.
Elton was left at a rabies control kill shelter in Jackson, Tenn., by its owner who abandoned him, according to ABC News. That’s when the group Jackson TN Euthanasia, which seeks to get abandoned dogs homes rather than resorting to euthanasia, stepped in by writing a Facebook post that quickly went viral.
"This guy was signed over to RC, not bc he's mean or bc he tears things up, but because ... His owner says he's gay!” the post read. “He hunched another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a "gay" dog! Even if that weren't the most assinine thing I've ever heard, its still discrimination! Don't let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior! He's in kennel 10L and he WILL be put down tomorrow bc there is no room at the inn!"
The post quickly went viral with more than 5,000 shares and attracted hundreds of calls to the center inquiring about the dog.
"I have had about 10 million calls this morning. It has been adopted already. It is gone. ... He’s in good hands," a shelter worker told the Tennessean.
But only one caller was successful and that was Stephanie Fryns, a veterinary tech from Jackson, who had seen the bulldog on an adoption site long before the campaign went viral online. Fryns, who owns four dogs, said she had plans to adopt him from the get-go.
“I am adopting this big boy first thing in the morning,” she wrote. “He will be neutered/htwm tested/and vetted. He will be temperament tested and then placed in a rescue verified and approved home.”
Now that Fryns has the dog, which she named Elton, she said he has been “pretty friendly so far.
“He’s pretty scared of everything, which is understandable. But he loved the car ride,” she said.
“Gay” dogs are not very uncommon, and, according to ABC, homosexual behavior has been exhibited in more than 1,000 different animal species ranging from dogs to penguins.
But according to Pawsitive.org, "dogs that hump (or mount) other dogs -- male or female -- are often just trying to assert their position in the pack ranking system. It isn't always about sex! Ever heard of someone trying to be 'top dog?' It's true in this case and quite literally. If you watch dogs at a dog park, you will see variations of this, such as a dog putting its head on the shoulders of another dog or a dog putting its paw on the shoulders of another dog. These are ways of one dog telling another, 'I'm superior to you, just thought you'd like to know!'"
Similarly, in this case, Elton was likely displaying dominance toward another dog, ABC reported.