LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It was a day of celebration for Ethan the dog and everyone who loves him.
The mixed-breed dog that was left for dead in January has now found his forever home.
Ethan was abandoned in the parking lot of the Kentucky Humane Society on Jan. 29. He was severely dehydrated, had low body heat and even showed neurological issues. His condition was so severe that pictures of his emaciated condition went viral on social media.
“I thought he was dead the first time I saw him because he was lifeless,” Dr. Emily Bewley, with the Kentucky Humane Society, said. “So it’s what we do with ER, you see there’s a problem and immediately go into work mode.”
KHS shared updates throughout his recovery on social media, and received overwhelming support from the community. A post that showed Ethan learning how to walk again or picking up weight got thousands of clicks on Facebook.
One KHS staff member, Jeff Callaway, took things a step further. He volunteered to monitor Ethan at night and take him home on the weekends. He said they found an instant connection.
“The day he was dropped off, before he had the name Ethan, before his story had become so popular, there was just a connection,” Callaway said. “I just thought this dog was going to play some part of my life, so I wanted to do anything I could for him, whether that was foster him or help take care of him. And after coming in and taking care of him at nighttime, and then him coming to our home, he just got along so well with our animals and everyone fell in love with him. It just felt so natural for him to stay.”
Wednesday, the Callaways made it official. After they signed the adoption papers, the family walked outside to a crowd of people gathered to say a final goodbye to Ethan.
“We’re just so excited,” Callaway said. “Generally, we’re pretty private people, But we had specific conversations about taking Ethan on and his popularity, and we as a family decided that if his story can bring awareness to all of the other animals at all the other shelters, then it was well worth it.”