Unicorn puppy will stay with Missouri rescue center

Narwhal with Rochelle Steffen, credit: Associated Press
Narwhal with Rochelle Steffen, credit: Associated Press

Narwhal, the dog who was born with tail-like growth between his eyes, will remain with the founder of the Missouri rescue group that took him in. There were more than 300 offers to adopt him.

The beagle-mix puppy, named Narwhal the Little Magical Furry Unicorn, was rescued in November by Mac’s Mission in southeast Missouri. He drew international attention when his picture hit social media, prompting all the adoption offers but also some negative attention, including death threats, said Rochelle Steffen, founder of the Mac’s Mission in Jackson.

Those two factors — plus the dog’s winning personality — convinced Steffen to reverse an earlier decision to find a new home for Narwhal, she told The Southeast Missourian. “It’s not just a decision from me,” she said. “The whole rescue cannot fathom him leaving. We all fell in love with him.”

Steffen said she wanted to keep the dog safe and was concerned he could be exploited by someone without his best interests at heart: “If somebody is going to make money off of him, I would love to see it go toward the rescue and save thousands more dogs.”

Mac’s Mission is currently involved in a court case involving the sale of a previously adopted dog, which taught Steffen that the organization loses control over an animal’s fate once it is adopted. And the mission’s former treasurer, Elizabeth Hann, is awaiting trial on charges that she stole $120,000 from the organization, which specializes in caring for animals with special needs.

“We have had a rough couple of years here,” Steffen said of Mac’s Mission. “Lots of loss, lots of hurt.” And Mac, the mission’s current ‘spokesdog’, turns 9 in January. Steffen said she wasn’t sure what was going to happen until Narwhal came along, saying he is ‘absolutely, exactly what we needed.’

Different is awesome
She said the dog will be a spokesdog for a ‘Different is awesome’ campaign and the long-term plan is to train him as a therapy dog. For now, Steffen is concentrating on letting him grow, and getting him fully vaccinated and socialized.

Source: Associated Press

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