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Abused dog Sawyer goes home with 'ecstatic' Fort Wayne couple

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 10:26 am

Sawyer, an 18-month-old dog who inspired a lottery-style adoption after having his legs broken in a January animal-cruelty case, went home with his “ecstatic” new family Tuesday.

A Fort Wayne couple met the terrier mix Tuesday as the final element of their screening process, and the meeting went so well, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control officials let the couple take Sawyer home the same day, said Allison Miller, the agency's adoption supervisor.

“The adopter who got picked was a previous adopter of ours, which is lovely” Miller said. “They came in with their dog and met Sawyer, and it went fantastic. It was love at first sight.”

When Animal Care & Control officials first called the couple to tell them they had been selected, the husband was “ecstatic” and kept yelling to his wife, “We won the dog lottery,” Miller said.

Animal Care & Control chose the couple, which wants to remain anonymous because of an ongoing investigation into Sawyer's previous owner, randomly from six qualified applicants, Animal Care & Control spokeswoman Peggy Bender said.

“They were all excellent,” Bender said of the applicants. “We would have been ecstatic with any of them.”

The face-to-face meeting serves as a final step where the family gets to interact with the dog and see how well they get along. Adoption officials wanted to make sure Sawyer's new family was patient and willing to train Sawyer, who still behaves much like a 6-week-old puppy, Miller said.

In January, Sawyer became the subject of an animal-cruelty case when investigators discovered him with both his front legs broken. Authorities believe someone – likely a juvenile – caused the injuries by throwing the dog, Bender said.

But on Tuesday, Bender said, she could barely keep Sawyer still long enough to snap a decent goodbye photo.

“By the end of the session, I said they should change his name to 'Blur,'” Bender said. “He's a very high-energy, very social little guy.”