After sharing the story of how he adopted Doakes, a dog that had been abandoned by his neighbor, a popular TikToker sparked a wave of engagement. The clip, found here, has been viewed 6.9 million times since it was shared earlier this month and is leaving commenters moved by the TikToker’s kind gesture.
Animals that are abandoned or surrendered by their owners often end up in shelters, where they face uncertain futures. Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters each year according to the ASPCA. Almost half of these dogs are adopted, while the other 20 percent are euthanized.
As TikToker wrote in his video’s caption: “there were three shelters and four phone calls afterwards. I found a dog in the neighborhood and adopted him. We did everything we could to give him the life he deserved.”
There are rows of dogs barking from their kennels in the footage. The dog that the TikToker approaches appears to simply stare at the camera, in contrast to his peers.
Many viewers believed that the dog recognized the TikToker after watching the video.
“He is stunned!” wrote @_abbylouise. “He knew all along you were supposed to be his dad.”
“I love that look of recognition. Face, body, entire stance is like … I’m so glad you came for meeee!” commented @h3yd000.
Apparently, the TikToker himself agreed, writing: “You can tell he recognized me. All the other dogs are barking [and] he’s just like “is that really him?'”
The previous owners left him on the streets, according to the additional backstory provided in the comments section. He wrote that he was picked up by animal control.
“I adopted him from [the] shelter. Sold my house and moved away,” he said, explaining that he moved because he “didn’t trust” the neighbors. “They were in and out of jail. I also relocated to a much nicer location [with] a fenced in yard for the dogs,” he wrote.
The TikToker said that the neighbors still have no idea that he adopted their former dog.
Many commenters said that they hope the other animals living at the shelter will have a happy ending, because they expressed support for the TikToker’s actions.
“All of them wagging their tails as you walk through breaks my heart,” wrote @.sinsky. “I hope they all find a home soon.”
“I wish I could rescue them all,” echoed @jemianxo.
Newsweek reached out @tounnyvaletrailerpark for more information but didn’t get a response in time for publication.