Shelter Dog Hugs Everyone He Meets, Hoping They'll Adopt Him

“Putting him back in his kennel was the hardest part ...”

Meet Tanner — a rescue dog who will do anything for a hug. Tanner was wandering the streets of Houston, Texas, when rescuers found him and brought him to a city shelter. After three weeks spent waiting to be adopted, the pup was put on a euthanasia list.

When local dog advocate Madeline Garvis Smith met Tanner, she was immediately charmed by his endless affection and knew she had to do something to help.

“He was pure love; almost starved for attention,” Garvis Smith told The Dodo. “Putting him back in his kennel was the hardest part, because I knew he was just so lonely. I meet a lot of dogs, but some just pull on your heartstrings more than others. Tanner was one of them.”

dog hugging
Madeline Garvis Smith

Garvis Smith, who runs an Instagram account that advocates for shelter dogs, quickly composed a post about Tanner’s story. The pup needed a foster — and fast.

“People always tag rescues on social media asking them to help, but I don’t think they realize that all rescues rely on foster homes,” Garvis Smith said.

dog hugging woman
Madeline Garvis Smith

Tanner’s story quickly got the attention of a local foster mom, who said she was happy to take him home. After that, it wasn’t long before the Animal Rescue Network of New England (ARNNE) offered to house Tanner once he was ready. Soon enough, Tanner was leaving the shelter, on his way to safety.

But lovable Tanner couldn’t go without a hug.

“He was found hugging the staff members, saying bye to them!” Garvis Smith said.

dog hugging
Madeline Garvis Smith

These days, Tanner is thriving in his foster home, enjoying lots of playtime with his temporary family. Eventually, Tanner will travel to New Hampshire, where he’ll live at ARNNE until he’s ready to look for his permanent home.

Garvis Smith knows that one day Tanner will become someone’s perfect companion.

“Tanner is crate trained, house trained, dog- and kid-friendly,” Garvis Smith said. “[He] just wants a bestie to cuddle with for the rest of his days.”

Keep up with Garvis Smith's animal advocacy by following her on Instagram. To help other dogs like Tanner, make a donation to ARNNE.