MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota puppy that made headlines when it was saved from a likely deadly trip through the mail went home with a new owner Friday — an exuberant Minneapolis woman who was thrilled to welcome the fuzzy black dog into her life.

“I never win anything,” said Terri Ford, who threw her arms in the air in excitement after learning she had won the drawing for Guess, a 5-month-old schnauzer-poodle mix.

Nearly 50 people went to a Minneapolis animal shelter Friday in hopes of adopting Guess. Animal control officials held a drawing for the puppy’s new owner — Ford’s name was drawn first, and she passed the application process.

Ford, who wouldn’t give her age, said she lives alone and is unemployed, so she has plenty of time to housebreak a dog.

“I think it might be good to get out of my pajamas and out of the house,” she said before the drawing.

Dressed in a long, pink coat, glittery boots and earrings with the word “rebel” on them, Ford said she heard about Guess on the news.

The puppy became a celebrity three weeks ago after postal workers heard noise coming from a box addressed to Georgia and saw the package move. They opened it to find the dog inside. Officials say the trip would have killed the puppy. His former owner, 29-year-old Stacey Champion, has been charged with animal cruelty. She was attempting to mail Guess to her son as a birthday present.

Hundreds of callers from Minnesota and around the world asked to adopt Guess, who became city property Monday when Champion failed to post bond.

“He tugs at everyone’s heartstrings,” Ford said. “He’s not only adorable, but he’s gone through some trauma.”

Ford, who used to be a legal assistant, said she already has a black cat named Danvers, after the character Mrs. Danvers in an Alfred Hitchcock film. She said she will think of a new name for Guess and expects him to get along great with her cat. She admitted, however, that she hasn’t yet asked her landlord for permission to have a dog.

Shelter officials have been excited about the attention Guess generated and have used it to draw attention to other homeless animals. Ten pets were adopted last week, shelter official Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower said. Usually, only one or two animals are adopted per week this time of year, she said.

Before and after the drawing, visitors toured the animal cages and admired other dogs and cats that were up for grabs. Six more animals were adopted after Friday’s drawing.

“He has really allowed us to turn lemons into lemonade,” Wiedemeier Bower said of Guess.

Although she doesn’t know the family, Debi Douglas, of St. Paul, hoped to win the puppy and return it to Champion’s son. Douglas came very close to making that happen; her name was chosen second in the drawing.

“I’m an advocate for an innocent child getting his birthday gift,” Douglas said. “We were all children at one point in time, right?”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (33)
  1. lmk says:

    Hope this little guy goes to a wonderful, loving home! He deserves it. Thanks to all who work so hard at the Animal Shelters to care for the homeless pets.

  2. Mark says:

    I wish the new owner would give it to the little boy in Georgia, it looked like his Mom meant to do the right thing but her mental capacity was limited

    1. Billy says:

      Great idea, you hit the nail on the head!!!

  3. JamieinMN says:

    Awwww ya! So glad this puppy will go to a REAL home.

  4. ChickenLittle says:

    Gotta agree with Mark on this one.

  5. Becky N. says:

    You people are not thinking clearly yourself if you advocate putting this puppy in the hands of the kid whose mother nearly killed. He needs a fresh, safe start.

    1. Superchik1017 says:

      I agree Becky! That puppy needs to be as far away from that family as possible!

  6. S K H says:

    I agree with Mark. It was a grandma that tried to send the puppy, wasn’t it? Who of us is to say that the home it was intended for is not a safe place for this little puppy? Maybe they will be at the auction (or whatever it is called) today.

  7. Bev H says:

    I’m glad Guess will be getting a new home today. I hope people think about all the other homeless animals, who don’t receive the publicity Guess did. There are many wonderful animals in pounds and shelters, that need their furever home too.

  8. Parody says:

    I hope if the new owners decide to mail him to the little boy in Georgia they put water and air holes in the box this time.

    1. JeanP says:

      I can tell you the baggage compartment in an airplane is NOT heated! Semi trucks are NOT heated. Never mail live animals. They either roast to death or they freeze. What a horrible way to go.

      The lady lied when she was asked this when trying to mail the little puppy. The postal service always asks what is being mailed. I am sure UPS does the same.

      These are small delicate dogs and do not belong with small children.

  9. Patti says:

    A HUGE Thank You to the Postal Workers who were alert and discovered the puppy in the box. As a dog rescue volunteer I applaud the Minneapolis Shelter for not giving the dog back to the woman who obviously put this puppy in harm’s way and for screening potential adopters. It is so rewarding to see a rescued pup go to a loving and safe home! If the grandson really wants a puppy or dog, I am sure there are many shelters or rescue groups in Georgia where his family could adopt a dog from.

  10. Anngel says:

    S K H, it wasn’t a grandma mailing the puppy to her grandson, it was the mother. And why would the mom not have custody of her own son??? Putting the puppy up for adoption was the best thing to do. I’m sure they have puppies that can be adopted right there in Georgia! No need to mail one if she really wanted her son to have one…..

  11. S.S.C. says:

    We should mail the mailer & see if that idjit understands what they did was gonna turn out badly. If so, than they were of sound mind. If not, than the puppy isn’t the only one that needs a shelter. How can some people be allowed to pro-create?

  12. RB says:

    I would not have wanted my name and location published if I adopted the dog. The next story we will see about Guess is that he has been dog napped.

  13. Wondy says:

    Just wondering if the other 49 people that showed up to try and adopt this dog – maybe took home another dog from the shelter. Since there are soooo may in need of homes.

  14. Sue Terry says:

    I am a bit concerned that the woman who got this puppy “Guess” is unemployed….how is she gonna feed this puppy and take him to obedience training and get his shots?

    How is she going to be any better than the previous owner?

    1. Aurora says:

      My thoughts exactly.

  15. Mary Jensen says:

    I agree with Sue. How is an unemployed person going to afford to care for this dog?

  16. alan says:

    All this cost and overhead for a mutt.

  17. Lives in Reality says:

    Dogs are like children, if you can’t afford to take care of one, don’t have one. Sorry that is my take on it. Too many people who “do the right thing” as the pro lifers would call it and have a kid because they made a mistake can’t afford to raise them. They end up being lousy parents that have no parenting skills and will raise the kids to be just like them, i.e. live off of the system, have 3 kids by 3 different men (who don’t support the kid or the mother) before they are 19. Once they have the kid they don’t really want them at all, just the welfare check and then the kids end up being just like the parents learning that they never have to work, just have kids and the govt will send them checks every month. I know there are exceptions, and good for those that prove me wrong, but the majority of unwed mothers who have kids live off of welfare and never get a job. On top of that one unplanned kid is a mistake, 3 or 4 is just lazy and stupid.

    1. Aurora says:

      Way to bring the crazy.

  18. Jay says:

    Glad to see the dog is going into a nice home with …a crazy clown women !! but that’s o.k., it was either the dog or four cats for this crazy clown women!!

  19. Eartha says:

    Can we move on from this story? Its over.

  20. Mel says:

    Somebody give this clown a job. Poor judgement on the shelters part.

  21. Jenelle Black says:

    Sorry people butjust because this lady is unemployed does not mean she has no money, we can’t judge her backround, where she comes from, how much she gets throuhg the stae, county, etc. it’s none of our business. and we can’t base anything on some ones appearance.

  22. Catherine Bass says:

    I’m concerned that the new owner has not confirmed that her landlord will allow for the puppy. This pup has already been traumatized enough and does not need to be shuffled from one home to another.

  23. Aurora says:

    My first reaction to this is how does an unemployed woman who is not even clear with her landlord on dog ownership pass the shelter’s screening process? How is she going to care for this dog? I’m a vet tech and I can tell you even routine care for a small dog is not cheap, let alone one that develops a chronic condition, or needs emergency services. I have a strong sense of forboding about this.

    1. Terri says:

      Aurora, my sentiments exactely! I am a Vet nurse also and it is disgusting! Also, why do they have to mention what this woman is wearing?! It just makes her sound more unresponsible. This poor dog is going from one bad situation to another. Get a job first, you never should have even considered it, and the landlord will probably fell pressured into saying yes, because of all the publicity.

  24. Kevin says:

    RACIST!!!! They took the pup from a person of color…and gave it to unemployed white lady??? The ACLU will be involved by Monday morning….

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