May 23, 2024

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Happy Paws, Trained Hearts

Dog Rescue Pleas for Unexpected Besties to Be Adopted as One, and It Worked

4 min read

An animal shelter has gone viral on TikTok after sharing the story of two unlikely best friends who were found together as strays and have been inseparable ever since.

When Arthur the 7-year-old Chihuahua was found wandering the streets of Sacramento, California, in March 2024, he wasn’t alone. He was joined by his canine best friend, Stanley the 4-year-old bully breed. After fearing that they had been abandoned, a concerned neighbor took them to Bradshaw Animal Shelter on March 10 to see if they could find their owner, or even a new home.

Luna Anona, the public information officer for the shelter, told Newsweek that Stanley and Arthur were very friendly, and they won everyone over because they’re “such an odd couple.” When they weren’t lounging on their bed, they’d go out for walks together, or even sit “gazing side by side into the lobby,” hoping a new owner would walk someday in.

Indeed, the pair were only ever separated twice a day during feeding times. But as soon as they had finished eating, they would start to look around for their other half.

Shelter dogs Stanley and Arthur
Stanley the bully dog hangs with his best friend, Arthur the 7-year-old Chihuahua. The dogs were found together as strays and spent three weeks in a shelter before finding a forever home.

@bradshawanimalshelter / TikTok

Anona said: “Stanley and Arthur were stray dogs found wandering around a neighborhood in Sacramento County by someone who suspected they’d been abandoned. Fortunately, they were able to approach the dogs, load them into their car, and bring them to us.

“We learned from neighbors that they were friendly dogs who had previously lived together. Their owners never did come to reclaim them, so they became available for adoption.”

Sadly, the story of Arthur and Stanley is like so many others, as shelters across the country see around 3.1 million dogs come in every year. While the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 2 million dogs are adopted each year, and 710,000 are returned to their owners, there are still many more waiting to find a loving owner.

Although a shelter is no place for any animal, these dogs were just happy to be with each other, and “where one went, the other soon followed,” according to Anona. For that reason, the shelter was desperate for them to be adopted together. The staff knew it was a big ask, but they hoped that the right owner would understand that they come as a pair.

“From their perspective, they had just lost their home, and they were in a new and unfamiliar environment. They were a source of companionship and comfort for one another. Keeping them together would allow the transition to their next chapter be as stress-free as possible,” Anona continued.

Using TikTok to Find a Forever Home

To get the word out there, the shelter posted a video on its TikTok account (@bradshawanimalshelter) to show the best friends, and encourage people to give them a second chance. Needless to say, the giant dog and his tiny buddy melted so many hearts, and the clip has gained more than 174,100 views and over 32,400 likes.

Going viral was a huge moment for the unlikely friends, and it was vital in helping them capture the attention of a nearby resident named Alex, who fell in love with the duo.

Once he met them, Alex instantly knew he wanted to adopt them both, and Anona told Newsweek that it was the “dream scenario” to see them go to the same forever home. On March 22, after three weeks in the shelter, Arthur and Stanley walked out the doors one last time and were ready to begin their new lives.

Alex adopting Stanley and Arthur
Arthur and Stanley are adopted by nearby California resident Alex on March 22, 2024. The dogs were inseparable, and the shelter hoped they could be adopted together, but they knew it was a big ask.

Bradshaw Animal Shelter

Anona said: “We are so grateful that he decided to open his heart and home to not one, but two dogs in need. We couldn’t be more excited for them.

“People often say they wish they could help, but they aren’t able to adopt a pet. But the truth is, there’s so much you can do which doesn’t cost anything,” Anona added. “Yes, animal shelters are always in need of adopters, fosterers, volunteers, and donations, but just by following your local animal shelters and rescues on social media and sharing their posts, you can help connect pets in need with loving forever homes.”

People all around the world fell in love with Stanley and Arthur, and the TikTok post has gained over 720 comments at the time of writing. One person responded: “I know someone has a home for these two buddies.”

Another person wrote: “You’d have to get both! It’s like the cheese tax, the rules are the rules and the facts are the facts, they’re best friends, they have to be together!”

Another comment reads: “Omg [Oh my god] the real life Timon and Pumba.”

Do you have any rescue videos or pictures you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.