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Eva Armstrong, with Brooklyn Badass, embraces Selma’s Cappy, who seems to hug back. This photo went viral online, gaining thousands of shares worldwide. Cappy was a dog at the Selma Animal Shelter before Selma volunteers with Wannabe Rescued arranged for Cappy to be sent to a home in New York.  In another submitted photo below, Cappy sits in his foster home of Shannon Lynch in Selma months before he was to become famous. --Hilary Benas Photography
Eva Armstrong, with Brooklyn Badass, embraces Selma’s Cappy, who seems to hug back. This photo went viral online, gaining thousands of shares worldwide. Cappy was a dog at the Selma Animal Shelter before Selma volunteers with Wannabe Rescued arranged for Cappy to be sent to a home in New York. In another submitted photo below, Cappy sits in his foster home of Shannon Lynch in Selma months before he was to become famous. -- Hilary Benas Photography

Photo of rescued Selma dog becomes a viral online hit

Published 7:09pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

He went from a small cage on the last row of the Selma Animal Shelter to fame in just one week. Captain Morgan, or Cappy as he is nicknamed, is a small, one-eyed dachshund that was photographed leaping into one of his rescuer’s arms in Brooklyn, N.Y. and it appeared that he was hugging her, thanking her even, for saving his life.

The photo and story of a dog that was destined for death in Selma and then saved by the rescue group Brooklyn Badass, went viral last week. The story was featured in the New York Daily News, Buzzfeed, Britain’s Daily Mail, Hollywood Gossip and a list of others. The article on Huffington Post received 5 million likes on Facebook.

While the photo shows Cappy hugging his rescuer with the Brooklyn organization, Cappy’s Selma foster parent, Shannon Lynch said there were a lot of people in Selma who worked to get him there to his future family. In all of the stories credit is given to the Brooklyn organization, but those in Selma who spent hundreds for his medical bills were listed as, “Southern volunteers.”

“A lot of the articles you will read talk about how Brooklyn Badass saved Cappy,” Lynch said. “But really it was Lorraine [Alexander] and Debbie [Clark] who saw him in the shelter. His eye was all crusty and he was on the back row, which is a non-adoptable row.

She said Alexander and Clark, who run a local non-profit Wannabe Rescued, pay out of pocket for many of the dogs they save. In Cappy’s case they paid for his boarding at the veterinarian office, his heartworm medication and his eye treatments. Lynch fostered him in her home for a month and she too paid for his medical bills.

Alexander said when they saw Cappy in the shelter, they knew they had to get him out or he would be put to sleep because of his eye.

“Cappy would have probably been put to sleep because he had a disability,” Alexander said, and said she remembers other instances in the shelter where animals would have been killed, had it not been for those willing to adopt dogs that are disabled, paralyzed or missing a leg.

Cappy was one of 17 dogs pulled from the Selma Animal Shelter to go to New York with Brooklyn Badass in early March. Those dogs could be pulled from the shelter because volunteers fostered the dogs for the law-required two weeks transition time from a shelter to a rescue.

Alexander said with all of the attention Cappy has received in the media, she hopes it will shine a light on the need for fosters in Selma and everywhere.

“We think for one of the dogs to get attention like this is absolutely wonderful. We just hope this brings some recognition to Wannabe Rescued and we get more likes on Facebook,” Alexander said. “The more likes we get on Facebook, the more people will see when we post a dog who needs a home, and this will better the chances we have of finding that dog a home.”

As for the famous picture of Cappy, Alexander said she knows dogs remember. They remember smells and the love they were given.

“Cappy came from a cage on the back row of the Selma Animal Shelter and now he is famous,” Lynch said. “But it took a lot of people to get him there and find him a home.”

For information on fostering dogs, volunteering with or donating to Wannabe Rescued, visit Wannabe Rescued on Facebook.

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