A senior rescue dog named Sniffles is winning over animal lovers across the country with his story of survival after a violent attack left him without a nose.
According to Florida-based adoption agency Poodle and Pooch Rescue, Sniffles was living as a stray dog in Puerto Rico where he was brutally attacked by a group of other stray dogs, resulting in the loss of his nose.
“We’ve recently learned that Sniffles was originally rescued off the streets in Puerto Rico, picked up by an organization known as Rabito Kontento (Happy Tails),” Poodle and Pooch Rescue President Rebecca Lynch tells PEOPLE. “They brought him into their care after he was attacked by other stray dogs on the streets and as a result of the attack, he suffered many wounds and injuries, the most severe being the loss of his nose.”
Since then a family in Florida adopted him, but Sniffles repeatedly escaped from the house.
Now, Poodle and Pooch Rescue has taken him in and has fielded “200+ emails, voice messages, social media inquires and applications” about Sniffles since he first started making the news, according to the organization’s website.
Lynch says that the organization has “received an outpouring of support and Sniffles has several great options for adoptive families.”
Sniffles still has hurdles to overcome. “He is full of parasites, both hook worms and whip worms, indicative of unsanitary living conditions prior to coming into our care,” Lynch explains. “He also tested positive for Ehrlichia, a tick born disease.”
Poodle and Pooch Rescue is giving him medical attention — including a successful dental check-up on Thursday — and expects him to fully recover.
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His next owner will need to take special care of the canine. “He’ll need an adopter that is committed to cleaning his nasal passage twice each day and someone that will give him eye drops each day for a condition called dry eye,” Lynch says.
Even though Sniffles has had obstacles, he remains a “lovable and happy dog,” according to Lynch.
“Sniffles is a resilient little guy,” Lynch says. “Despite his past, and after some initial timid nature and confusion, Sniffles has really started to come out of his shell.”
“He likes to snuggle, wags his tail, enjoys time outside, does well with other dogs and he makes adorable little snorting noises due to his condition,” she adds.
On its website, Poodle and Pooch Rescue requests that people direct their desire to help Sniffles to his fellow rescue dogs.
“Sniffles is going to be a-okay and we ask that you please set your sights on some of our other dogs in need,” the website says.