Joe Kirk may look like a tough guy on the outside, but he definitely has a soft spot for hound dogs! He and his wife Schenley run a hound rescue group in Ohio — and their mission is to save as many dogs as possible.
This passion for rescuing puppers is what pushed Joe to drop everything he was doing and rush over to a shelter more than two hours away from his home to save a sweet beagle named Gregory from his grim fate! He had no idea that the pup would be so thankful and show his appreciation in such an interesting way…
Gregory’s life before Joe’s intervention was rough, to say the least. The sweet pup was found wandering the streets of Ohio without a collar, tag or microchip. Even though he was clearly a house pet at some point, his life took a dark turn.
When the Franklin County Dog Shelter veterinarians inspected Gregory upon his arrival they discovered he was positive for heartworms! Sadly, without a family to adopt him and the money to pay for his heartworm treatment, the only option was to put him on the “put down” list. Gregory’s last hope was someone seeing his story online before his time was up!
Thankfully, Joe discovered Gregory just two days before he was scheduled to be put down!
As soon as Joe saw the doe-eyed beagle online, he knew that he needed a second chance at life! He jumped into the car and drove two hours to the shelter.
As soon as Gregory was safe inside Joe’s car, he leaned over and gave him a big snuggle as if to say thank you! Joe was able to snap a few quick photos of Gregory’s cuddle before heading home — and his wife thought they were an absolute hoot!
She immediately shared them on Facebook with the caption:
“The BEST Freedom Ride Picture EVER…
Gregory is one thankful and appreciative beagle! He KNOWS he is SAFE! He is Heartworm Positive and will be going through treatment, but he knows he is in good hands!
We will get him healthy and provide him all the love he so deserves and a wonderful future!! What a great photo of Gregory and my husband Joe on their way home from the shelter!”
In the days since posting Joe and Gregory’s sweet photo, things have only gotten better. Schenley told TODAY that Gregory fits right in and is the ultimate snugglebug!
“He is very loving, very affectionate. He loves to be next to you. He loves to give kisses.”
Both Schenley and Joe hope that the attention surrounding the photo encourages other people to consider adopting.
“That is why we do what we do. That is what makes it all worthwhile, knowing that we are able to save the lives of these dogs in need. And their appreciation and the love they give back is amazing. There’s nothing better.”
We know Gregory is in the best of hands now that he’s with Schenley and Joe! Hopefully, he gets to live out the rest of his days in peace and with lots of treats.
Take a peek at this pup’s incredible “freedom ride” story below. It’ll put a smile on your face!