A former stray dog named Elvis was the only animal not adopted at a shelter event in Chicago — but his heartbreaking ordeal ultimately led him to his forever family when he was taken in by none other than a former Elvis impersonator.
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The 3-year-old pit bull mix had to return to his kennel at Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society (ACS) after the other 22 dogs and 39 cats at the rescue organization’s Nov. 11 fall adoption event found homes.
The ACS shared photos of Elvis — who it described as a “meatball” and “snuggler” with the “silliest personality” — peering through the door of his cage next to a row of empty kennels on Facebook in hopes of finding him a home.
“Elvis is the only dog that didn’t find a home during our Fall in Love adoption event,” the shelter wrote. “He met a lot of potential adopters but sadly did not get adopted. Help us find Elvis a family to love!”
The rescue org noted that the pup, a pit bull-terrier mix, is potty-trained, crate-trained and knows how to sit and lay down on command and has been in the shelter for several months.
His sad story was also covered by the local news.
“His giant smile lights up every room he enters,” the ACS added next to an adorable photo of Elvis smiling with his eyes closed and tongue out.
That photo plus a coincidence that felt like fate led Elvis to his humans, including a former Elvis impersonator.
“His adopters had been waiting for the right time to welcome a dog into their family and once they saw Elvis on the news, they couldn’t deny that it was fate!” the ACS wrote in an update they cheekily titled “Elvis has LEFT the building!”
One of Elvis’ new dads, Loren Agron, 39, worked as an Elvis-impersonating waiter at Ed Debevic’s, a 1950s-themed diner where staffers entertain customers with choreographed dance routines on the soda counter, according to the Washington Post.
Agron, who now manages the diner, told the outlet he dressed up as the King with a black cowboy shirt, “quintessential giant Elvis sunglasses,” long sideburns and pomped-up hair and called himself “Elvis Parsley” from 2005 to 2007.
“Elvis has always been a big part of my life because I’ve always loved music from that era,” he added.
Argon headed to the shelter to meet Elvis the dog the next day and was immediately smitten with the gray and white pup.
“I loved him immediately,” Agron said. “Having a pup named Elvis seemed like a perfect fit.”
He then returned to the shelter with his partner Drew Wilhelm, who first spotted the post about Elvis, and the couple adopted him that day, Nov. 17.
“While we were sitting in the waiting room to meet him, I felt like a father waiting for his newborn son to arrive,” Wilhelm, a 43-year-old manager of a Chicago cocktail lounge, told the newspaper.
“As soon as I saw him, I knew that was our dog,” he said. “When no one else wanted him, we found him. We’re all a bunch of misfits.”
Wilhelm described Elvis as “just an adorable goofball” who loves to lounge and take up most of the bed.
The couple and ACS hope Elvis’ story helps inspire others to adopt.
The nonprofit’s senior director of marketing and communications told the Washington Post that the ACS team was so saddened for Elvis when he was the only one left after their adoption event.
“We’re grateful that people all over the country are now invested in Elvis’s story, and we can’t stress enough that we see dogs like Elvis waiting for their forever homes every day,” she said.