It was a heartwarming story: a senior blind dog and his younger guide dog BFF surrendered to a shelter and adopted together, just days after their story was shared on Facebook.
Unfortunately, this story did not have the happy ending thousands were expecting.
According to The Washington Post, OJ the blind, 12-year-old Dachshund was found wandering alone on a road 100 miles away from his new adoptive home while Blue Dozer was enjoying the comfort, safety and care of adopted life.
It is unclear how OJ ended up stranded, but luckily he was picked up by a driver and brought to Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center near Staunton, Virginia. From here, the shelter scanned OJ’s microchip and found his new owner, who claimed that both dog was being watched by a friend, reports the newspaper, and that even though 6-year-old pit bull Blue Dozer was currently with the owner, they did not need OJ back.
“A day after their adoption (Monday) I received a text with a picture of OJ from a volunteer that works with the Shenandoah shelter,” Christie Chipps Peters, the director Richmond Animal Care & Control, the shelter that adopted out the dogs, told PEOPLE. “We confirmed that this was in fact OJ, and set a time to retrieve him from their shelter the following day. Staff reached out immediately to the adopter to find out what had happened and confirmed that OJ had been given to a friend and somehow ended up at the shelter and that she had, in fact, relinquished ownership of him to said shelter.”
From here, Peters began communicating with the original adopter herself, “asking her to please allow the dogs to remain together.” Eventually, the adopter agreed to give Blue Dozer black to the RACC so he could be reunited with OJ.
When the RACC went to pick up Blue Dozer, the Dachshund was in tow. The shelter posted a photo of the pair shortly after their reunion with the caption, “I am very glad to announce that both OJ and Blue Dozer have just been reunited and are safely back at RACC.”
This post and OJ and Blue Dozer’s entire saga created “a crazy social media frenzy,” according to Peters, including many messages of support, but there were also a number of negative comments directed at the original adopter, which the shelter addressed in their Facebook post.
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“We do not support any act of violence or threat of violence towards anyone. Ever. The only thing that matters is these sweet dogs get to stay together-and in the end that is what we have,” the post reads.
Peters said that OJ and Blue Dozer have “received a mountain of applications for their adoption” but, right now, the shelter is focusing on letting the pair rest and catch up on the snuggles they missed while they were apart.