This is just another instance wherein an animal which comes to community attention as an individual (rather than as an anonymous member of a group) suddenly joins the Monkeysphere and becomes worthy of a social bond.
Nobody wanted to adopt an anonymous beagle when he was one of hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats at a shelter in Alabama. “Hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats” is a huge, vague concept, and it’s hard to form a social bond with, or feel one is personally able to help, “hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats”. However, once he was brought to national consciousness as an individual dog with a name, people fought over the right to adopt him and a home was almost immediately found.
This is, by the way, why savvy shelters post individual web pages for each animal, with a little story about each, and a name for everybody. It’s hard to open your heart to “181406M”, but it’s easy to find a soft spot for “Daniel”.