Kayla Filoon has spent the past year volunteering as a dog walker at ACCT Philly, an animal shelter in Philadelphia. Although she loves all the dogs she spends time with, there was one stray that recently caught hold of her heart and wouldn’t let go.
When the dog came in, he was in very rough shape. Russ was seriously underweight and missing fur and was bruised. He also had kennel cough. Despite his appearance, the 4-year-old Pit Bull looked back at her calmly and sat quietly in his kennel.
She took him for a walk, and right away noticed how cuddly he was with her and how he didn’t react or bark like the other dogs at the shelter. He also seemed to know his basic commands. By the end of their time together, Kayla decided she was going to adopt him the next day.
She knew she had to act quickly as the shelter was overcrowded and space would be needed, putting Russ at risk for euthanasia. So, the next day, after a short drive out together, Kayla filled in the paperwork and brought Russ home.
Less than 2 weeks at his new home, Russ fit right in and continued to show off his soft, cuddly side. Kayla’s aunt snapped a photo of just how cuddly Russ is, when he and Kayla were sitting on the couch. She posted it on social media, where it quickly went viral.
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“One night I’m sitting there on the chair, doing my homework, and he’s trying to find ways to cuddle with me,” Filoon told the Dodo. “There was a whole other sofa open, and we had his bed on the floor, but he didn’t want to lie anywhere else. So he ends up positioning himself, and I look down, and I think, “Oh my gosh, look at him.'”
“He’s such a love bug, honestly,” Kayla said. “I’ll be lying there, and he’ll put his head under my arm, or his paw over my chest. And he’ll even lay on my chest.”
Kayla hopes that people seeing the photo of Russ and her together will be inspired to adopt a shelter dog of their own.
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