couple take selfie with the dog they adopted
twitter | @dog_rates

Couple Adopts Dog Who Owner Brought To Shelter For Showing 'Gay' Behavior

Considering how dramatically a dog's mood often changes for the better after it's been adopted, it's an encouraging sign that there are so many innovative ways that people can do that.

And while we tend to picture adopted dogs as overcoming a sad history of mistreatment or neglect by the time they find their new homes, the reality is that they can find themselves going through this process for a wide variety of reasons.

Nonetheless, this doesn't mean that there aren't many dogs who find themselves surrendered to shelters because they are genuinely unwanted. And one particularly strange case of an owner doing this has inspired a couple to dig deep and make space in their home for the misunderstood pooch.

When a branch of the SPCA in Charlotte, North Carolina took in a mixed dog they named Fezco, the previous owner's rationale for bringing him certainly raised some eyebrows.

dog panting in front of plastic bins
twitter | @dog_rates

According to Good Morning America, this person was convinced their dog was gay after they saw him attempting intercourse with another male dog.

And that revelation was apparently so unacceptable for them that they threatened violence against the dog if the shelter didn't rescue him.

Fezco's rescue was a collaborative effort between the SPCA and Stanly County Animal Protective Services and he also spent some time with veterinarian Dr. William Pressly.

shelter workers embracing dog
Facebook | Stanly County Animal Protective Services

Pressly told the outlet that this was one of the sweetest dogs he had met and that Fezco hadn't exhibited any dominance issues with the dogs he had seen him interact with. But he also said that exerting dominance was likely a better way to characterize what his previous owner caught him doing.

In Pressly's words, "There is no sexual orientation in canine, feline animal behavior. It's just not there. One way [dogs] can exert their dominance is by humping."

Although Steve Nichols and John Winn were initially going to donate to the shelter when they heard about Fezco's case, his story resonated with them enough that they decided to adopt him.

couple take selfie with the dog they adopted
twitter | @dog_rates

As Nichols told Good Morning America, "You know, in 33 years, we've had to face the same ignorance, bigotry and stupidity from people and we weren't always able to do something about it. But we thought, 'We can do something about this.'"

And while the dog was timid with them at first, he has since become a happy member of their family that includes a terrier-Chihuahua mix named Harry.

The couple has also decided to rename the dog Oscar after the acclaimed writer and early LGBTQ+ icon Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde sitting in chair and holding cane
Wikimedia Commons | Library of Congress

And as far as Nichols is concerned, the story of Oscar's adoption serves as an example of the American public's craving for stories of heroes and happy endings and he hopes this one will inspire others to adopt when they're seeking a new pet.

As he put it, "And this is one of those stories, but we are not the heroes. The heroes are the shelter workers, the veterinarian's office, the people of the SPCA, who deal with this every day."

h/t: Good Morning America