Joy Ollinger, a lieutenant from the San Diego Department of Animal Services, shared how Harvey arrived at the shelter in Carlsbad, California, looking malnourished and with a facial deformity in September. Due to his appearance, he was named after Harvey Dent or “Two Face,” one of Batman’s enemies. According to Ollinger, Harvey has a lopsided smile.
After our veterinarians inspected him, they concluded that his facial deformity might have been caused by a dog bite when he was still a little pup. However, it doesn’t hinder his daily life and he is perfectly fine. Nonetheless, this condition made potential adopters worried, as mentioned by Ollinger. According to Ollinger, people would pass him by without even giving him a glance.
During his stay at the shelter, many people considered him to be unappealing due to his facial deformities. Despite being there for a while, he was never chosen for an outing or adoption. The shelter can house around 110 dogs concurrently, according to Ollinger. He went unnoticed by individuals who passed by and didn’t receive any attention.
“We’ve had a lot of visitors come through and it always made us feel down since we’re big fans of Harvey,” shared Ollinger. “So, I started bringing him into my office to spend more time with him and get to know him better.” Ollinger estimated that Harvey was almost two years old and described him as a kind, quiet, and smart dog who loves attention. “He would often lay at my feet and show interest in whatever I was doing. Sometimes when I was typing, he would even raise his paw and look at the keyboard,” added Ollinger.
In a Facebook post, Ollinger described Harvey’s personality and highlighted the reasons why he deserves a forever home. She mentioned that Harvey is a calm and friendly husky who enjoys the company of other canines and has a fondness for treats. Despite having a facial abnormality, which results in a crooked smile, it doesn’t hinder his ability to live a happy life. In fact, Ollinger believes that this unique feature makes him even more endearing.
After coming across a post from over a thousand miles away, Sherry Lankston, a 41-year-old resident of Woodinville, Washington, was immediately smitten. Even though she wasn’t actively looking for a new pet, she couldn’t resist the charming and adorable face of the dog in the post. She fell in love with Harvey’s goofy smile, calling him the prettiest dog she had ever seen. According to Lankston, Harvey’s picture had her swooning right away.
In a light-hearted manner, I teased my husband about discovering our potential second furry friend. We had been contemplating getting another dog for some time now as our first dog, River, craves the company of other canines. Despite discussing the idea, we never found the right fit until recently. After some consideration, I knew that Harvey was the one for us. His quirky personality and endearing nature won me over. Without hesitation, I packed up my kids, Harrison (7) and Fionnlagh (4), and embarked on a 20-hour drive to Carlsbad to meet him. My impulsive decision surprised even myself and my friend Ollinger, who recounted how I came to her one evening with the plan, packed my car the next day, and hit the road the day after that.
Ollinger recalled how it was love at first sight when the Lankstons met Harvey. Harvey, who was initially quiet and hesitant, quickly took to Sherry and her kids, as well as her dog River. Even when Sherry’s husband Robert came to visit the next day, Harvey was still friendly. The Lankstons then took Harvey on a long road journey home, and even though it was bittersweet, Ollinger and Sherry have become friends and communicate daily about Harvey’s progress. During the drive home, Lankston learned from a woman who had seen Ollinger’s Facebook post that Harvey had saved the lives of two female dogs in the desert by leading them to safety.
According to Lankston, the crew brought Harvey and River back to their tent and provided them with chicken burger patties and strawberries, which Harvey seemed to enjoy. Since returning home, Harvey has been thriving, integrating well with Lankston’s family, including their cats and snail. Lankston expressed his joy at having Harvey around and remarked that it took River some time to understand that Harvey is not just visiting but now a permanent member of the family. Ollinger, meanwhile, hopes that Harvey’s story will inspire people not to judge animals based on their defects and to give all animals a chance at finding their forever homes.