His mantra is “I only lick left” and he always looks like he’s sporting a coy smile. He’s Picasso, a special needs dog recently plucked from the kill list and brought to Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Oregon. And not only is he looking for the perfect forever home — he’s blowing up Instagram, too.
Picasso first appeared on Luvable’s Instagram three weeks ago, after the rescue’s owner, Liesl Wilhardt, brought him to her unique facility from the Porterville Shelter in California. “I asked our rescue partner if she knew of any dogs with special needs or medical issues that needed help,” Wilhardt tells PEOPLE. “And right away, she said, ‘Well as a matter of fact …’ ”
After seeing a photo of Picasso — who at the time, didn’t sport such an appropriate name — Wilhardt agreed to take him, along with his “normal” brother, now named Pablo (below, left; named by Luvable staffer and art history buff Kari Lennox). Both were on the kill list after being surrendered by their owner, a breeder who gave them up because he couldn’t sell them, despite the fact that the corgi-dachshund mixes are “such sweet” dogs, Wilhardt says.
Since taking off on social media, “it’s been crazy,” Wilhardt says of her normally quiet shelter, located on 55 acres in the forest. “We’re not taking applications for the brothers, who will need a home together, just yet, though. I think we’ll probably wait a month or so until the buzz about them dies down.”
Also a reason to wait: Picasso is going to receive dental surgery to “help make him more comfortable,” Wilhardt says, adding that he was born with this jawline, though is still able to eat and drink. “We want to be sure he’s physically sound and healed from his surgery before we start to look for a home.”
It hasn’t stopped interested families from reaching out, though; Wilhart says she has “hundreds” of applications from people looking to give the brothers a forever home.
Founded 17 years ago, Luvable rescues pit bulls and smaller mixed breed dogs from kill shelters and houses them in small cottages, keeping them until they find forever homes. Check out photos from PEOPLE’s recent profile here.