A touching video of a rescue dog’s reaction to being adopted has gone viral on TikTok with more than 6.2 million views on the platform.
In the footage, Loki the rescue dog can be seen being driven to his forever home, a serene look on his face, with his paw in his new owner’s hand. The text reads: “I adopted this dog and he held my hand the whole way home,” with the caption reading, “He’s such a sweet boy.”
User weratedogs commented, “so glad he found his forever home, he knows he’s safe now,” while another wrote, “100/00 gentleman!! he keeps looking at you!!”
The changes in dog ownership trends, including a move away from the desire for a ‘designer dog,’ have contributed heavily to a reduction in dogs being euthanized at shelters.
The hashtag ‘rescue dog’ has over 9.8 billion hits on TikTok. According to a study from 2018 entitled Dog Population & Dog Sheltering Trends in the United States of America, euthanasia has been slowly on the decline since the 1980s in the U.S.
The study references data from The Humane Society of the United States comparing euthanasia statistics over the years in the U.S. Numbers decreased from 13.5 million animals in 1973 to 7.6 animals in 1985.
The HSUS says that the data collected indicates that “increased responsible pet ownership behaviors, sterilization efforts in shelters and private veterinary hospitals have played a role driving and sustaining the decline in unwanted animals entering shelters (and being euthanized).”
The data also showed that adoption numbers are rising slowly across the U.S. These “have become an additional driver of declining euthanasia numbers in the last decade,” as well as a shift in attitudes towards thinking of pets as part of the family.
@abigailada12 He’s such a sweet boy 🥰 #shelterdog #adoptdontshop #rescuedog #sweet #adoption #shelter #dogsoftiktok #muttsoftiktok ♬ Sky Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
In 1984, New Jersey was the first state in the country to address its pet overpopulation issue with a state-wide low income, low-cost spaying and neutering program, which continues today. The 2018 study reported that this resulted in the amount of impounded dogs dropping by 75 percent from 1984 to 2014. The number of dogs euthanized has fallen by more than 90 percent over the same time period.
Users were thrilled by the rescue on TikTok. Michael commented: “I’m not crying. I don’t cry. I’ll never cry. But I’m going to need someone to finish this conjugation. There’s something in my throat.”
User phoenix rising wrote that “he loves and trust you already. thank you for changing his life.”
User cleoaquino568 commented: “What a Sweet Sweet face…he can hold my hand anytime.”
Newsweek has reached out to @abigailada12 via TikTok for comment.
Loki the rescue dog is an appreciative pup.
According to WPDE, Abigail Arellano recently adopted a dog named Loki from the Oconee Humane Society in Seneca, South Carolina.
Moments after Loki left the shelter, riding in the passenger seat of Arellano’s car, he started to show his gratitude.
On the trip to Loki’s new abode, the dog reached out a paw to Arellano and placed it on his new pet parent’s hand. The pair held hands for the entire car ride home.
Arellano documented the adorable act of appreciation in a TikTok video. In the social media clip, Loki sits peacefully in the passenger’s seat of Arellano’s car, watching the world outside the window with his paw firmly planted in his owner’s hand.
“I just adopted this dog and he held my hand the whole way home,” Arellano wrote on top of the video, adding, “He’s such a sweet boy” in the clip’s caption.
The precious moment has received over 7.1 million views on TikTok and more than 1.4 million likes.
Arellano has continued to update Loki’s new fans on how the dog is adjusting to his new home. Loki “is settling in great and happy to have a home,” the dog mom shared in a recent TikTok post that included a video of Arellano explaining the canine’s backstory.
In the clip, Arellano shares she first met Loki at the Oconee Humane Society’s low-cost vet clinic where she works. Loki arrived at the shelter very ill and required treatment before he was ready for adoption. Arellano fostered the dog while he finished his treatment and ended up falling in love with the pup. While Loki had to return to the clinic after his foster stay, Arellano adopted him from the Oconee Humane Society as soon as Loki was ready for a forever home.