Ethan the dog recognized as Ambassador of Compassion

Ethan the dog recognized as Ambassador of Compassion

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A dog was left for dead in the Kentucky Humane Society Parking lot.

Over a four month period, he became a star in his own right and is being recognized as an Ambassador of Compassion.

On Jan. 29, a 38-pound dog was left in the cold in front of what would become his saving grace. Jeff Callaway, with the Kentucky Humane Society, was one of the first to help and support the dog.


“They thought he was dead,” Callaway said. “They were wondering why we were bringing a dead dog in then they saw his head move and they immediately jumped into action.”

The Kentucky Humane Society started updating the community right away, sharing they believed he may have been locked in a crate without food for weeks. The who, what, where, when and why remain unknown, but the community support for the dog was astronomical. Louisville, then Kentucky, then the country waited and held its breath hoping he would survive.

“I wasn’t sure he was going to make it,” Callaway said. “He was in that bad of shape, he was dying.” To give him a chance staff decided it was time to take drastic action, they looked up “strong willed,” “determined,” “adversity,” and landed on the name Ethan.

Callaway, who took care of Ethan and treated him as his own, knew it was his time to make it official. “I walked over by the baby gate and he came and started licking me in the face,” Callaway said. “The doctor the vet said it was the first time he had shown any affection.” Tuesday, Matt Gibson with the Kentucky Derby Festival and representatives from the Mayor’s Give A Day celebration of volunteerism, recognized Ethan as an Ambassador of Compassion.

“Ethan has captured not only this town but the world,” Gibson said. While fighting for his own life, Callaway said Ethan saved others. He received letters from across the world too deep to publicly share; letters from people suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts said Ethan’s strength encouraged them to find their own. “He changes people,” Callaway said. Ethan is now 100 pounds of pure joy showing that if Ethan can overcome, survive and show compassion with love and support, imagine what we can all do together.

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