Lost dog in the Falls goes viral thanks to rescuers

James Neiss/staff photographerYukon the dog was found living on its own in the Love Canal area. Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorA couple befriended the stray dog and turned it over to the SPCA of Niagara for care and adoption.

Kudos to Tom Jackson and his wife, Renee.

The couple gave up a good deal of their personal time to help turn a stray dog in ill health into a beloved social media sensation. 

If not for the Jacksons, the dog — now recovering at the SPCA of Niagara — may not have found his way to shelter and safety and may not have survived this week's near-zero temperatures. 

It was Tom who discovered the Husky – now affectionately known as Yukon — freezing and starving in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls. 

The JR Swanson & Plumbing employee spent a good hour or so attempting to coax the animal into his truck after noticing another woman outside of her parked car on Frontier Avenue attempting to do the same. Both of them could tell the dog was in bad shape, shivering and bleeding from his paws. 

"He was very scared, skinny and his paws were bleeding and raw. The look on his face, it was a cry for help so I started trying to build a little trust," Tom said. 

Tom did get close enough to finally be able to wrap a jacket around the wounded animal. He put the dog in the back seat of his truck and gave it some water in a cup. 

Tom's wife, Renee, a hairdresser at Savoy's Salon and Spa in Lewiston, brought the dog some food and more water. 

She was nearly heartbroken by the dog's poor condition.

"My wife was bawling her eyes out and was pretty upset," Tom said. 

Not knowing for sure if the dog had an owner, Renee posted pictures of the wounded pooch on Facebook and the images quickly went viral. Her post received more than 3,000 likes, received 2,000 comments and was shared 9,000 times. 

The best news of all is that it raised awareness about Yukon's existence and condition, giving greater likelihood to the dog being adopted once it has been nursed back to health. 

SPCA representatives say the raw skin on Yukon's face and paws is beginning to heal and that he's starting to show more pep in his step. 

The amazing story of a wounded stray becoming an internet sensation with a brighter future is all due to the kindness and patience of Tom and Renee Jackson, a pair of animal lovers who lost one of their beloved dogs - named Angel Baby - back in January. 

Renee Jackson said the night before her husband found Yukon, a picture of an angel popped up on her Facebook page with a caption reading: "All you need is love and a dog." 

She took it as a sign.

"She put that dog on my husband's path for a reason," she said. 

Whether it was chance or divine intervention, there's no denying that the Jacksons proved once again that while Niagara County may be lacking in some ways, it is still home to a lot of good people, the kind who help those in need, even if they are of the four-legged variety. 

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