A dog who was recently abandoned by its homophobic owners for showing ‘gay’ behaviour has been adopted by a same-sex couple.
A bizarre and heartbreaking story emerged in the United States last month after a dog was taken to Stanly County Animal Protective Services only because his owners thought he was gay. (I know, I couldn’t believe this was a real story either.)
Shortly after, he was named Fezco, according to ABC News.”We saw the story about the owner who turned the dog into the shelter because he thought he was gay,” Steve Nichols told Good Morning America.
“The dog had humped another male dog and he contacted the shelter and said if you don’t rescue this dog, I’m going to kill him. So the folks in the shelter were great and found a place for him immediately.”
Steve Nichols, 61, and his partner John Winn, 58, from North Carolina have been together for 33 years. The couple knew immediately that they wanted to adopt Fezco after reading the news headlines.
“My partner and I started talking about it. The conversation went sort of like this, ‘You know, in 33 years, we’ve had to face the same ignorance, bigotry and stupidity from people and we weren’t always able to do something about it.’ But we thought, ‘We can do something about this,’” said Nichols.
“So we started out in an effort to just do something to help, donate some money or something like that. Over a period of two days, it sort of morphed into, ‘Well, he’s going to be a part of our family,’ and we just ended up adopting him.”
Fezco was adopted on March 22 and has since been renamed Oscar who they say is a “lovable mutt.” After being neutered and undergoing abdominal surgery for an undescended testicle close to his kidney, he will be receiving treatment for heartworm next.
Dr. William Pressly with Pressly Animal Hospital told GMA that Oscar is a mixed breed and is likely a German shepherd/husky. He’s believed to be around 5-years-old and despite a long journey ahead, he should live a happy life.
“Oscar is probably one of the sweetest dogs. He didn’t have any dominance issues while he was here with any of the dogs that we introduced him to,” said Pressly who also addressed the dog’s “so-called ‘gay’ behaviour.”
“There is no sexual orientation in canine, feline animal behavior. It’s just not there,” he said.
“One way [dogs] can exert their dominance is by humping, the other is by nipping or other little things that they do. Some dogs hump, some don’t. It just depends on how they want to exert their dominance over another canine,” explained the veterinarian with more than 20 years of experience.
Oscar, who was quite timid at first, is finally getting comfortable living in his new home with Nichols and Winn.
“He’s beginning to come out of that shell. The first day we had him, we were both overjoyed when he first wagged his tail. And then over the weekend, he kind of smiled at me a couple of times, which made me really happy. So I think he’s just becoming a part of the family and his personality is emerging every day,” Nichols explained.
“He’s just such a laid-back sweet dog, obeys commands. Doesn’t get more than two or three feet away from either one of us.”
And, his new name was actually inspired by the gay playwright/poet: Oscar Wilde.
“He is a legendary author. He wrote ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ And he was also very out, which was a big deal in his day, a much bigger deal than it is today,” Nichols said. “So we named him Oscar. We always give our dogs human names.”
The couple are also the owners of Harry, who came from their local SPCA.
“Harry is fine as long as Oscar doesn’t take his space on the bed at night and steal his cookies,” Nichols said.
The couple is sharing their story in hopes of inspiring others to adopt dogs from shelters, giving them a second chance at life.
“We feel very strongly that people in this country for the last four or five years are really craving stories with heroes and happy endings. And this is one of those stories, but we are not the heroes,” Nichols said. “The heroes are the shelter workers, the veterinarian’s office, the people of the SPCA, who deal with this every day.
“And so my message would be please adopt, don’t shop. Adopt first because there are plenty of animals that need a loving home. And if you can’t adopt, support them financially, they desperately need the money.”