A dog that made national headlines this month after being abandoned by its owners because of “homosexuality” has been adopted by a same-sex couple.
Last week, WCCB-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina reported that the 5-year-old Fezco was handed over by his owners to Stanly County Animal Protective Services after the puppy “limped over another male dog.” The submarine shared the unfortunate news on its Facebook page.
Fezco’s story quickly made national headlines and caught the attention of Steve Nichols and his husband, John Winn, who live just outside of Charlotte, not far from the suburbs.
“I was in shock,” Nichols said of the first reading about Fezco in the news. “I went through and went on to the next story, and then something went inside and I snapped.”
He said he went back and re-read the story and watched the WCCB video coverage and then the win came with an idea.
“We were together for 33 years, and in 33 years we faced the same ignorance, bigotry, but we talked about it, and we thought, ‘This time, we’ll do something about it.’
Nichols called the television station, and the reporter who covered the story helped put him in touch with the sub. The couple signed adoption papers for Fezco less than 48 hours later.
But it was not long before Nichols realized that the baby needed medical attention.
“I spent about an hour with him in the car, and it was obvious to me to be with him that he was in really bad health,” he told NBC News.
After his adoption, Fezco was admitted to the Pressly Animal Hospital, in Matthews, North Carolina, where he was treated for heartworms, castrated and made a health check.
As for his humping of another male dog, Dr. William Pressly, a veterinarian, said “all dogs do it” and it has nothing to do with a dog’s sexuality.
“It’s a dominance thing and a game thing,” he told WCCB.
In an interview, Nichols joked: “We’m pretty sure he’s not gay because he hates to take pictures. What kind of gay person does not want to take their picture?
Fezco, however, was renamed by his new parents after a homosexual icon.
“We named him after Oscar Wilde, who is one of the most notoriously gay people in history,” said Nichols of the late Irish poet and playwright. “We like to give our pets animals, human names. We don’t like to call them Fluffy and Sparky or anything like that.
The couple has another dog, a small rescue named Harry, whom they adopted about 10 years ago. Harry was a groomsman at the couple’s wedding.
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Jay Valle, an NBCU Academy embed, writes and produces digital content for NBC Out.