The picture of a homeless dog sleeping with a stuffed animal went viral after someone shared it.

The picture of a homeless dog sleeping with a stuffed animal went viral after someone shared it.

SmallJoys would be nothing without the tireless efforts of our outstanding volunteers. We always love and thank them for the work that they do, whether it’s helping a lonely neighbor or rescuing a beached Orca whale.

Volunteers undertake incredible work, and as a consequence, our world is a better place for everyone. Learn more about the Houston, Texas-based volunteers that make up the “Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project.” To aid in the rescue of stray dogs in their community, they give of their time, energy, love, money, and resources.


It’s no secret that Houston has a major problem with the number of stray animals, especially dogs. Over the last several years, the group has worked to preserve more than 864 pets from the 5th Ward.

Unfortunately, it’s not obvious what’s causing Houston’s large stray population—whether it’s wild animals or people who don’t take good care of their dogs. Many dogs have been fed thanks to the efforts of the Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project, and the group is now doing all it can to make sure those dogs survive. I must say, you really are a great group of people.

The strays they capture are ultimately adopted out into loving homes where they may live out their lives to the fullest. Never again will I have to sleep outside in the cold and wet while running after those dogs to try and feed them.

As a no-kill rescue group, Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project will do all in its ability to place each dog in its care into a permanent, loving home as soon as possible.

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To make sure the dogs have a shot at a happy life with a family that cares for them, they are also quite picky about the kind of homes they go to.

Here’s the amazing story of the volunteer who stumbled across a stray dog and snapped his picture. The picture captured the core of a problem that affects far too many animals. Being alone in the wilderness means facing the elements head-on with no protection. When animal rights activists discovered the pictures, they were moved to tears and rapidly circulated them throughout the internet.

Many animal advocates cried after seeing this photo. Sleeping puppy next to a dirty but nonetheless cuddly teddy bear. The animal almost seems to be sleeping with it.

The volunteers at Forgotten Canines of the 5th Ward have seen too many lonely canines shivering and sleeping outside in the cold. At that time, the rescue center’s volunteers were out in the community feeding the strays and trying to catch a few of them so that they might be brought back to the facility and ultimately adopted into a forever home.

One of the volunteers wanted to take a picture of the dog because they found it napping. She knew that many animal-lovers’ hearts would be pounding after seeing the topic presented in such a convincing way.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to catch the dog, and their van was already jam-packed with other dogs who needed to be sent to the rescue center. Since this was the case, they decided to abandon the dogs and return at a later time to wake up the sleeping one.

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When they got back, the actual dog and the stuffed one were long gone.

Volunteers spoke with Calvin, an 89-year-old local resident. Calvin told the volunteers that he owned the dog, but the animal had a history of running away and returning to the streets, so he was lying. So far, he has been unable to track down the dog.

Also, Calvin has been making extra efforts on his own to help the strays in the 5th Ward. Catering to the dietary and medical needs of the numerous canine guests. This dog, however, managed to escape and go away, and his owner has been desperately searching for him ever since.

The volunteers offered to help cover the costs of Calvin’s veterinarian treatment, which included having his canine teeth removed. To say that Calvin appreciated the help would be an understatement. How wonderful it is to see animal rights activists working together!

It’s very bad there can’t be a happy conclusion to this tale right now, but the good news is that the volunteers are still looking for the dog they discovered resting and any additional pets that need homes.

Unfortunately, the dog in the picture is only one of many like it, but good-hearted people are working hard so that one day all pets will have a place to call home and spend their golden years in comfort.

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