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”.
(Daniel, by the way, now has his own blog, and is working to abolish the use of gas chambers for euthanasia of pets in Pennsylvania via Daniel’s Law. See what you can do when you have a name?)