Adventures of Tuco: Former Arlington Shelter Dog Now Modeling, Living His Best Life Ever
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on August 02, 2018, August 02, 2018

Tuco's transformation from a neglected, underweight pet to a charismatic Instagram model with a global following is a story that's pretty dog-gone amazing.

Life for the Japanese Mastiff mix began looking up after an Arlington Animal Services officer picked him and brought him to the shelter in February 2017. Shelter staff became extremely fond of the scrawny brown and white pooch, who they nicknamed Homer.

Homer's fondness for carrying his water bowl around in his mouth brought him lots of attention at the shelter long before he became Insta-famous. Homer received food and treats often as shelter visitors, seeing him with his bowl in his mouth, assumed he must be hungry. The cunning canine packed on more than five pounds during his stay at the shelter as volunteers gave him treats and staff fed him to keep him comfortable.

About a month later, photographer Clay Hayner adopted Homer and gave the handsome pup a new name and an amazing life filled with adventure. Tuco's Instagram page is updated frequently and allows Hayner's friends and family, as well as shelter volunteers and staff, an opportunity to see Tuco's travels and modeling gigs.

On Tuesday, Hayner and Tuco dropped by the shelter for a visit with staff and volunteers and to bring donations for other shelter animals.

"The shelter staff did a great job with Tuco and I am glad to have him in my life," Hayner said. "I am so glad they rescued him."

Arlington Animal Services Manager Chris Huff said the City is thrilled that Tuco found his forever home. Huff adds that there are many other wonderful pets at the shelter, especially during this time of year, who are also looking for a new start.

Are you considering adopting a pet? The annual Clear the Shelters event is scheduled for Saturday, August 18, 2018, and all pet adoption fees are waived for the day. NBC and Telemundo owned stations are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country, including Arlington, to ensure the success of this nationwide pet adoption drive to find loving homes for animals in need.

Click here for more information about the Arlington Animal Services Center and pet adoption.

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