Orlando dog called 'ugly' by shelter visitors goes viral; adoption applications pour in

A heartbreaking social media post about a dog with deformities being called "ugly" and ignored by visitors at an Orlando shelter has gone viral – and she's now got her pick of loving homes to choose from!

Dutchess was surrendered to Orange County Animal Services over a month ago due to a landlord issue. The owner told the shelter that she was born with a slight deformity under both her eyes. 

"It doesn't affect her in any way except one: people cannot seem to get past it," the shelter wrote on Facebook. "The heartbreaking part is that Dutchess absolutely adores everyone. She runs up to the kennel doors every day, excited for the new day, relentlessly optimistic."

Sadly, Dutchess had been overlooked. The shelter said Dutchess would watch each day as people passed by her kennel, taking other dogs out for interactions and getting adopted. 

But the hard part, the shelter said, was hearing the comments made about her.

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Orange County Animal Services

"She looks so ugly. What is that? What's wrong with her? Is she blind? How much is this gonna cost me? She'll never get adopted."

Despite being sweet, gentle, energetic, and intelligent, no adopter would give Dutchess a chance. Photos of her went viral on the Orange County Animal Services' Facebook page, racking up thousands of shares and comments. Finally, Dutchess had been seen. 

Credit: Rescue Dogs Dream

Credit: Rescue Dogs Dream

"I saw her recently when we went to drop off sheets and toys for the pups and I thought she was the most adorable little dog ever!" wrote one commenter. "So sweet and kind! I think she is very unique!"

Another wrote, "So heartbreaking. Makes your heart hurt. She is beautiful."


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Over the weekend, the cur mix pooch took her freedom ride out of the shelter and is now in the care of Rescue Dogs Dream. The rescue told FOX 35 that they have received at least ten adoption applications for Dutchess and ten other inquiries asking how to adopt her. 

She already has a pre-approved application and will go home with her new family after she has surgery on Dec. 28. 

Rescue Dogs Dream explained that the growths under her eyes are soft and curled up, almost like furry eyelashes. The veterinarian found that the deformities are in her sight line and it is uncomfortable for her – so surgery is necessary. 

The rescue said Dutchess is the "sweetest, most loving girl" who gets along with all dogs and people and they are amazed at the outpouring of support. They hope her story inspires adopters to take a second glance at all the overlooked animals at local shelters and hopefully get them homes for Christmas.