Dog scheduled to be euthanized hugs his rescuer after being picked up from shelter

Dog scheduled to be euthanized hugs his rescuer after being picked up from shelter

It's a devastating truth that so many dogs end up in rescue shelters every year. Whether they're abandoned, abused, or just find themselves with no home to go to, it's amazing that there are so many shelters and individuals to help love and care for these lonely pooches.

However, an even more devastating truth is that if a dog is unable to find a home and/or the shelter is unable to provide care for it, that dog can be euthanized - all because there was nobody out there who would take them in and love them.

One dog who came very close to being euthanized was Gregory, a beagle who had just two days left to live in a shelter in Ohio.

Thankfully for the then two-year-old Gregory, Schenley Kirk and her husband Joe were able to rescue the pup. And the couple, who co-founded the Hound Rescue and Sanctuary, shared Gregory's heartwarming reaction to freedom on the car ride out of the shelter. Writing on Facebook, Schenley Kirk wrote:

"The BEST Freedom Ride Picture EVER! 'Gregory' is one thankful and appreciative Beagle! He KNOWS he is SAFE!"

Gregory's affection clearly resonated with so many people, as the post was shared over 11,000 times!

Speaking to TODAY, Schenley revealed that her husband Joe had told her, "All (Gregory) wanted to do was to be touching me and cuddling up against me."

Gregory was found as a stray at two-years-old and brought in to the Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus on April 25, 2018. After discovering the young pooch was heartworm positive, the shelter was forced to place the otherwise healthy dog on the euthanasia list.

Fortunately, Schenley - who regularly checks surrounding shelters for condemned animals - noticed Gregory and knew that she and her husband had to be the ones to save him.

Joe spent two hours driving to the shelter to pick up Gregory for the first time, and told TODAY that their initial meeting felt like they'd "known each other for years". (My heart is melting!)

The couple said that they usually transport dogs within crates, but Joe felt like Gregory had been caged up for far too long, and decided to tether him to the backseats instead. Commenting on her husband's car ride, Schenley said:

"My husband knows better than to be taking pictures when driving. When my husband sent me these pictures my first reaction was, ‘Honey, why isn't he in a crate?’"

It didn't take long for Gregory to adjust to his newfound freedom, and the Kirks promptly started the beagle on his heartworm treatment. Schenley describes him as "a very well-behaved little boy."

"He is very loving, very affectionate. He loves to be next to you. He loves to give kisses."

After being cleared by vets, Gregory was adopted by a new family and taken to his new forever home.