Remember this heartbreaking photo of Kai, the Shar Pei mix who was abandoned last month with a suitcase filled with his belongings at a Scotland train station?
“I’m over the moon and very shocked that I was chosen out of everyone who wanted him,” Russell said.
“My Dalmatian named Mica passed away just before Christmas and I was left heartbroken. I had her for 15 years and she was the apple of my eye. We pretty much spent 24 hours a day together. When I heard about Kai, I knew the little guy needed a break but I never thought in a million years I’d get him.”
Russell, a hydraulic engineer who works outdoors all around Scotland, said Kai will accompany him wherever he travels.
“When it’s appropriate, I’ll let him out [of the van] to run around and play safely while I work,” he said. “Then we’ll jump back into the van together and head to the next place. We’ll be able to hang out all the time.”
Kai was found Jan. 2 with his leash tied to a railing outside the Ayr train station in South Ayrshire. The suitcase next to him contained a pillow, toy, food bowl and food.
A week after a photo of him went viral, the woman who left him at the station came forward. Fin Raynor told the Daily Record she had seen a dog advertised for sale online. When she went to the train station to buy him, it was a different dog than the one in the photograph. She said she refused to pay for the dog, and his owner took off. She had to hurry to catch the next train home, so she tied Kai to the railing. “I told somebody, I made sure the dog was safe,” she said. The case is still under investigation.
Alan Grant, senior animal care assistant for the Scottish SPCA, said the shelter got adoption offers from as far away as the Philippines.
“Kai’s story was really sad, and many people likened him to Paddington Bear, given he was found alone at a railway station with his suitcase,” Grant said.
He said Russell was chosen to be Kai’s new dog dad because “he said he was interested in re-homing Kai, but he would take our advice if we thought one of the many other dogs in our care would suit him better. It was really important for us to select an owner who wanted Kai for all the right reasons and had really thought through their decision to take on a rescue dog.”
Russell said he hopes all the people who offered to adopt Kai will find other homeless dogs to welcome into their families.
Photos via Facebook