A Dachshund called Captain Morgan (so named because he has only one eye, like a pirate — arrgh) was headed to a bad place fast. He was stuck in a high-kill shelter in Selma, AL, and his number was nearly up. He slept on a cold concrete floor. During bath time, staff sprayed him with a hose. He had heartworm, which was untreated. It looked like it wasn’t going to end well.
But Sara Cross, founder of Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, and Eva Armstrong, one of the group’s rescuers, didn’t want to see that happen. The rescue works with Alabama’s Wannabe Rescued to help bail dogs out of the Selma pound. The two groups do so because dogs don’t stand a chance at that place. Once local foster parents in Alabama are fully tapped, Badass Brooklyn steps in to bring the dogs up north to place them in foster homes.
Badass has saved more than 800 dogs from high-kill pounds in the South.
“We really want people to understand the urgency here,” Cross told the New York Daily News. “You either take the dog or the dog gets killed the next day. There’s no other option.”
Captain Morgan got his ticket out in March alongside 30 other dogs that day. In New York, the group typically fosters out the dogs, but Captain Morgan was a special case — he had heartworm. He needed treatment. Armstrong let the one-eyed dog stay with her while he got healthy, and Cappy (short for Captain Morgan) jumped right in. Bonding, as they say, took place.
Cappy slept in Armstrong’s bed. They watched TV. They took walks. The dog learned how to be a happy puppy to a loving caretaker, and Armstrong’s kindness made a big impression on the little dog. After he was adopted to a couple in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Cappy didn’t forget his rescuer. When the two were reunited earlier this month at one of Badass Brooklyn’s block parties, Cappy spotted Armstrong from a distance, ran over, and leapt into her arms.
Photographer Hilary Benas caught the embrace at the perfect time. The photo went viral. You can see why:
“It’s great that he found a home right here in Park Slope,” Armstrong said. “When he sees me, he goes nuts.”
Cross told the told the Huffington Post that she see this a lot: “Whenever any of us run into dogs that we have fostered or rescued, they always recognize us and are so excited to see us. Dogs remember the person who saved their life and helped them on their way to a forever home.”
“Cappy would not be alive were it not for a small group of dedicated volunteers in Selma, Alabama,” Cross told the Daily Mail. “We would not even know these dogs exist, let alone be able to rescue them, if it were not for amazing volunteers.”