People across the country are applying to give a senior dog named Sniffles a new home after his rescue story gained national attention.
Sniffles is a one-of-a kind canine, Florida-based Poodle and Pooch Rescue says. He doesn't have a nose. He tends to snort. He's in need of some dental work. He loves strangers and kids.
The rescue took in Sniffles on Dec. 19 and helped him overcome hookworms and whipworms, signs that he had been living in poor conditions. Soon he was featured in a Christmas Eve profile aired by Orlando TV station WESH.
Now Sniffles' rescuers say his past 12 years have likely been more difficult than they originally believed.
Michele Wacker, special needs director of Poodle and Pooch Rescue, told USA TODAY on Wednesday that the rescue now believes Sniffles was originally from Puerto Rico, where he lost his nose due to trauma — likely when he was attacked by a pack of dogs.
After Sniffles was adopted in America, he eventually ended up as a stray captured by animal control. That's when he was taken in by Poodle and Pooch Rescue, Wacker said.
The rescue's Christmastime adoption plea worked — now about 100 people from across the U.S. have submitted applications to adopt him Wacker said.
Among the outpouring of support for Sniffles — breathless social media posts:
Wacker is confident Sniffles will find a forever home in the coming weeks, as the rescue has received many promising leads.
She hopes Sniffles will help draw attention to the other work the shelter does year-round — helping hundreds of dogs across the state of Florida, about half of which have special needs.