All too often the majority of news we hear about animals is tragic – dog fighting, hoarding, or other forms of horrific abuse. Across the country, people and organizations do great things for animals every day. However, when celebrities become involved in the welfare of animals, the whole world seems to take notice. Recently, George Clooney made headlines when he adopted a dog rescued from a hoarding situation that was born with multiple birth defects and disabilities.
In March of 2015 the rescue organization LuvFurMutts, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, rescued eleven dogs from a severe hoarding crisis. Like most rescue organizations, LuvFurMutts is a no-kill, foster-based refuge that seeks to save unwanted animals, especially seniors, from shelters and euthanasia. Of the eleven dogs that were saved in March, one dog in particular was particularly heart-wrenching. Named Nate, the small terrier was severely underweight, had a barrel chest, congenital defects, and a leg that swayed. At adoption events, Nate was often stared at, pointed to, and even made one woman cry, saying the sight of him made her depressed.
One evening, George and his wife, Amal, both of whom are known for their kind hearts, were perusing the internet when they came across a photo of Nate. Instantly, George decided that this small, disabled dog deserved a home among the Clooney clan. His parents had recently lost their own terrier, and George decided to make Nate a Christmas present for them, especially for his mother.
On Christmas Eve, the LuvFurMutts surprised George Clooney’s parents at their home in Kentucky with Nate. After what was reported as a tearful event, the Clooney’s welcomed Nate into their home and haven’t looked back. The rescue states they are “over the moon” with this fateful turn of events for Nate, which the rescue had assumed would spend the rest of his life living in foster care. As LuvForMutts stated on their facebook page, “What is impressive is the fact that George picked Nate out and Nick and Nina [George’s parents] accepted Nate just the way he is. They could have any dog in the world but they chose to adopt a dog who was crippled and could have been with LuvFurMutts for life.” Truly, this is a happy ending for Nate!
George and Amal are not strangers to adopting dogs in need. They have two rescued dogs of their own, a Bassett hound named Millie and Einstein, a cocker spaniel with ocular and thyroid conditions. In addition to facilitating Nate’s adoption, the Clooney’s made a sizable donation to the rescue organization that more than covered the cost of Nate’s surgeries and medical care.
Although the fact that a celebrity has helped a crippled and disabled dog should not compete with other laudable acts of kindness by the general public towards homeless pets, actions such as George Clooney’s draw greater awareness to situations such as hoarding, the plight of less-than-perfect animals in shelters, and the “adopt, don’t shop” mentality. The kindness his family has shown to Nate and the LuvFurMutts organization has helped spur a new dialogue towards helping animals, one that is much needed!