MORGAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A small eastern Kentucky animal shelter's effort to show the plight of abused and neglected dogs has started to go viral, highlighting how big of a difference a little love and care can make for them.
It started when the Morgan County Animal Shelter posted a heartbreaking video to Facebook on Sunday night showing a dog they had recently taken in that was so scared even of being petted. Since then, the video has gotten more than two million views and 40,000 shares.
(You can watch the full video here, but a word of caution: some might find the video upsetting.)
Shelter Director Kathy Sexton said she has seen a lot, so she was not surprised to see how three-month-old Ammo acted when he was dropped off at the shelter - clearly terrified of being touched, showing, Sexton said, the emotional scars that so many animals deal with after being abused or neglected. She said workers there - and at shelters across Kentucky and the country - see that all the time.
"We know the dog has been through something horrible that it did not deserve," Sexton told WKYT's Garrett Wymer.
It could even have been the first time he has been petted.
Sexton posted the video to Facebook with the caption: "The only touch a dog should ever feel is one of kindness." Millions of views later, she believes it has opened people's eyes to the way animals are far too often treated.
"I was not going to leave that kennel without touching him," she said, "because I knew he was that afraid and I knew that he needed to know that I was not going to hurt him."
Ammo warmed up to her just a few minutes later, Sexton said. She posted a happy video update on Monday morning, showing an energetic Ammo reveling in attention.
Now all Ammo wants is attention and love. He is like a totally different pup, giving kisses, crawling in Sexton's lap and coming back for more, showing how a little love makes a big difference.
Not only that, but the viral video caught the attention of a number of rescue groups willing to take Ammo, get him the medical care he needs and help him find the forever home he deserves.
A rescue transport is scheduled to pick up Ammo and his "brother," Bullet, on Saturday morning. They are going to Sweet Souls Animal Rescue, a rescue group in Pennsylvania. The two will be in foster care until they are ready to go up for adoption.