Unicorn puppy will stay with Missouri rescue mission

1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, December 03 2019 Dec 3, 2019 Tuesday, December 03, 2019 1:49:07 PM CST December 03, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A dog who was dubbed the unicorn puppy because of a tail-like growth between his eyes will remain with the founder of a Missouri rescue group, despite more than 300 offers to adopt him.

The beagle-mix puppy, named Narwhal the Little Magical Furry Unicorn, was rescued in November by Mac’s Mission in southeast Missouri. He drew international attention when his picture hit social media, prompting all the adoption offers but also some negative attention, including death threats, said Rochelle Steffen, founder of the Mac’s Mission in Jackson.

Those two factors — plus the dog’s winning personality — convinced Steffen to reverse an earlier decision to find a new home for Narwhal, she told The Southeast Missourian.

She said her tiny rescue could not properly vet the 300 adoption applicants and she was concerned by “stupid, ugly comments (online) about this sweet little puppy.”

People have shown up at the rescue in Jackson because of the dog, prompting security measures and meetings “by appointment only,” Steffen said. Narwhal is watched at all times by Steffen and trusted volunteers.

Steffen said she wanted to keep the dog safe and was concerned he could be exploited by someone without his best interests at heart.

“If somebody is going to make money off of him, I would love to see it go toward the rescue, and save thousands more dogs,” Steffen said.

People have made “giant” offers to buy him, Steffen said. “But he’s not for sale.”

And the dog’s cute personality made it difficult to consider giving him to someone else, she said.

“It’s not just a decision from me,” she said. “The whole rescue cannot fathom him leaving. We all fell in love with him.”

Mac’s Mission is currently involved in a court case involving the sale of a previously adopted dog, which taught Steffen that the organization loses control over an animal’s fate once it is adopted. And the mission’s former treasurer, Elizabeth Hann, is awaiting trial on charges that she stole $120,000 from the organization, which specializes in caring for animals with special needs.

“We have had a rough couple of years here,” Steffen said of Mac’s Mission. “Lots of loss, lots of hurt.”

And Mac, the mission’s current “spokesdog”, turns 9 in January. Steffen said she wasn’t sure what was going to happen until Narwhal came along, saying he is “absolutely, exactly what we needed.”

She said the dog will be a spokesdog for a “Different is awesome” campaign and the long-term plan is to train him as a therapy dog. For now, Steffen is concentrating on letting him grow, and getting him fully vaccinated and socialized.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The CoMo Short Showcase highlights local filmmakers and their original work in the community. The goal is... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing has been set for Joseph Elledge on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the Boone County... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE – With the closing of Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, it will likely take longer for emergency officials to... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE (AP) - Missouri is planning to cut more than 1,700 beds at prisons across the state. Department of... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 6:47:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
GUTHRIE TOWNSHIP - Deputies have one suspect in custody in a murder investigation. The Callaway County Sheriff's Office said there... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:41:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Students avoided slick roads after the University of Missouri closed campus on Friday. The school alerted students... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 2:07:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After a heavy snow fall Thursday night, Susan Stephenson received notifications that Columbia Public Schools would not be... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 1:28:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia Public Works Street Division will start plowing and treating all city streets at 1... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 12:08:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Electric Cooperative is reporting outages affecting nearly 5,000 customers Friday morning. The outages are reported across... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 10:22:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Officials with University of Missouri announced campus is closed Friday due to weather. The university earlier announced a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:00 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, eventually coming to an end this evening with snow accumulation... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
6am 30°
7am 30°
8am 30°
9am 31°