A boy who lost his leg to cancer came to the Front Street Shelter in Sacramento one day in search of a dog with similar disabilities. He left with a large, slobbery canine amputee named Logan.
Eight months later, the video story of their perfect match has captured the 2017 grand prize in a Petco Foundation contest about animal adoptions, besting 3,500 other entries and earning the city’s shelter $100,000.
Quinn Scharn’s story was recorded by a team led by Bobby Mann, the communications director at Front Street. It captured the hearts of Petco judges, who reviewed entries from across the United States. Quinn, now 13, talks in the video of battling cancer and losing his right leg. Shortly after his surgery, Quinn began badgering his mother about his desire to “get a dog with three legs,” he said.
After searching for the right companion for more than two years, the family saw a Facebook post about Logan. They drove from their home in Napa to meet him at Front Street, and ended up adopting him.
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“The bond was instant,” said shelter manager Gina Knepp. “The dog nuzzled right up against Quinn. It was like he knew they were meant to be.
“When I saw them, I started to cry. I thought, this is the right pet for the right family.”
Quinn’s video pictures him snuggling Logan, and using crutches as the two take walks together.
Logan, Quinn and his mother Teresa Howell were on hand this week when Petco presented Knepp with a check for $125,000, which included a $25,000 award for a separate video about a young girl whose impoverished family had to wait for years before adopting a pair of small dogs from Front Street.
Petco Foundation treated the family to a night at the upscale Sawyer Hotel in downtown Sacramento, which advertises itself as “pet friendly,” plus a $1,000 gift certificate.
Front Street has yet to decide how to use its windfall, Knepp said, although it likely will be used to fund everyday needs including veterinary pharmaceuticals and support staffers.
“It’s a lot of money,” she said. “Our budget from the city can’t cover everything we like to do around here. We’re competing with a lot of other important priorities, so we’re very grateful for this.”
Front Street still is competing for the foundation’s “People’s Choice Award,” in which individual viewers vote for their favorite pet adoption video.
To view the videos and vote, go to petcofoundation.org/vote.