A foster carer has shared the heartwarming moment a stray dog felt safe for the first time.

Bambi, whose breed is unknown, was saved from the euthanasia list by animal shelter volunteer Emily Duncan, 31, from North Carolina.

She recently shared a TikTok video with 1.8 million views that shows Bambi making herself at home on a cozy blanket in the living room.

“It took about three days for Bambi to realize that she was safe and could relax. She has been with us for two weeks now, and her fun and spunky personality is shining through more every day,” Duncan told Newsweek.

Shelter dog
Two screenshots from the viral video of Bambi making herself feel comfortable in her foster home.
Emily Duncan/TikTok/@twogingerpibbles

Every year, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

There are approximately 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats among them. Every year, approximately 920,000 shelter animals (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats) are euthanized. The number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters each year has decreased from around 2.6 million in 2011.

Bambi was brought into Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on August 15. But her health began to decline when they were forced to close their doors due to a contagious respiratory disease outbreak called canine influenza.

Duncan explained: “During the closure, some dogs, including Bambi, started to deteriorate without the volunteers to walk them and provide enrichment. She was losing weight and hoped of being adopted, so I decided to take her into foster care to give her a better chance.”

Bambi, who is believed to be around four years old, has been in Duncan’s care since December 15 and she is slowly but surely thriving.

“It took about three days for Bambi to realize that she was safe and could relax.

“She was completely broken but is now coming back to life. Foster homes truly save lives, especially in areas like North Carolina where there is a significant issue with unethical breeding and a lack of spay/neuter laws,” said Duncan.

The small business owner who uses the TikTok handle @twogingerpibbles regularly posts videos of Bambi in a bid to help find her a forever home. She told Newsweek that Bambi is house and crate trained and has quickly adjusted to her new routine.

“Fostering is a rewarding experience and helps save lives,” said Duncan. “I would like to emphasize the importance of fostering. When fostering through most county shelters and rescues, there is no financial obligation for the foster.”

She states that the shelter or rescue usually provides all necessary items for the dog and pays for vet bills, so she believes it is a no-brainer for those who are able to temporarily house a canine in need.

So far, the popular video has amassed over 800 comments—many are from other carers sharing their experiences.

One user said: “I just picked up my first foster dog and watching her feel safe has been the most gratifying thing I’ve ever experienced.”

“All animals deserve so much love,” commented another.

A third comment said: “Instantly crying! This is everything.”

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