Man adopts dog abandoned by neighbor in video viewed 6.9 million times


A popular TikToker sparked a viral wave of engagement after sharing how he adopted Doakes, a dog who had been abandoned by his neighbor. The clip, found here, has been viewed 6.9 million times since it was shared earlier this month and leaves commentators moved by TikToker’s kind gesture.

Animals abandoned or returned by their owners often end up in shelters, where they face an uncertain future. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters each year. About 48 percent of these dogs are adopted, while 20 percent are euthanized.

As TikToker Derek Schmit (known on the app as @sunnyvaletrailerpark) wrote in the caption of his video: “[Three] shelters and [four] phone calls later. I found the neighborhood dog and adopted him. We gave him the life he deserves. “

The footage shows the inside of a shelter, with rows of dogs barking from their kennels. The TikToker approaches one particular dog who, unlike his peers, appears to be just looking at the camera.

Earlier this month, a TikToker went viral after sharing the story of an abandoned dog being adopted by his neighbor. Above, an American Staffordshire Terrier named Tobi at the Sacramento, California SPCA in 2008.
David Paul Morris / Getty Images

Based on the video, many viewers suspected that the dog immediately recognized the approaching TikToker.

“He’s stunned! wrote @_abbylouise. “He knew from the start that you were meant to be his father.

“I love that look of recognition. The face, the body, the whole position is like… I’m so glad you came for me!” commented @ h3yd000.

Apparently Schmit himself agreed, writing: “You can tell he recognized me. All the other dogs are barking. [and] he’s just like “is that really him?” “

In the comments section, Schmit provided additional backstory as well. “The previous owners left him on the street. He was picked up by animal control,” he wrote.

“I adopted him from [the] shelter. I sold my house and moved, “he said, explaining that he moved because he” didn’t trust “the neighbors.” They had entered and left prison. I also moved to a much nicer place [with] a fenced yard for dogs, ”he wrote.

The TikToker added in a further comment that the neighbors “still have no idea” that he has adopted their old dog.

Doakes, meanwhile, easily adapted to his new home. “Doakes and Dexter are brothers for life and we are so happy together,” Schmit said in a comment to News week.

Countless commentators have expressed support for TikToker’s actions, and many have said they hope the other animals living at the shelter will have a happy ending as well.

“All wagging their tails as you walk through breaks my heart,” @ .sinsky wrote. “I hope they all find a home soon.”

“I wish I could save them all,” echoed @jemianxo.

Updated 12/21/2021 4:36 PM ET: This story has been updated with a statement from TikToker Derek Schmit.

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