But Elmo hasn't always worn such a happy expression.
In mid-July, he and another dog were discovered abandoned in a yard.
"We think that a neighbor probably noticed that the dogs were left there and called animal control to report them," Fugate tells The Dodo.
The dogs - whose former owner hasn't been identified - were brought to KC Pet Project, the nonprofit which manages the municipal animal shelter in Kansas City.
Elmo's photo was taken when he arrived; it shows how unhappy and scared he was.