Hundreds of people across the nation and beyond are trying to adopt a puppy in Sulphur, Okla., that survived an attempt to euthanize it.
Animal Control Officer Scott Prall arrived at the local animal shelter at the end of his shift Feb. 18 where he found six or seven malnourished puppies. His supervisor instructed him to kill the dogs because the local shelter was overcrowded. There were 22 dogs in a facility with only 12 cages.
Prall injected each puppy, along with two larger abandoned dogs, with two supposedly lethal doses of a sedative. The first was given in the foreleg and the other was injected into the heart, meant to ensure the dogs' deaths.
"Each dog had a shot administered into them," he said. "We all figured the shot would basically put them down because of their weight and everything."
The dogs were pronounced dead by a doctor who checked them thoroughly for any signs of life. None of the dogs had a heartbeat. Prall placed all of the bodies into a large trash container that was set to be emptied the next day, putting the bigger dogs' bodies on top of the smaller puppies'.
Prall left after that and returned the next day, expecting the trash container to be empty. He was not only surprised to find that it hadn't been emptied but that one of the puppies was alive.
"That dog, he was just sitting on top of the other dogs," he said. "Just sitting on top, just looking at me."
Prall was amazed that the puppy had survived not only the injections but other conditions as well.
"He wound up surviving in the 30s during the night, and wound up surviving two large dogs being put on top of him," he said.
He immediately took the puppy to veterinary technician Amanda Kloski, who noted the dog's story on an adoption website, catching the attention of Marcia Machtiger of Pittsburgh, who donated $100 so Kloski could board the dog for a week.
The dog was given the name Wall-e by a little girl from Sulphur, after the lone survivor on Earth in the Disney movie of the same name.
Machtiger promptly posted the story on her Facebook page.
Now Machtiger and Kloski are both sorting through thousands of e-mails and phone calls from people wanting to adopt Wall-e, send contributions or just get an update on his progress. Machtiger alone has received about 2,000 e-mails, she said, 1,000 of them in a 24-hour period.
"So many people are interested," Kloski told the Associated Press. "Now we're going through and trying to find the adoption applications for the best home."
Machtiger said that she thinks people are interested in Wall-e because of his exceptional story.
"Wall-e's situation is so unique," she said. "It generated so much response."
She said Wall-e is recovering well and waiting safely at the vet's office for a new home.
"They said he was amazingly healthy," Machtiger said. "You wouldn't know he went through this."