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Stray Malamute Finds Home in Southern California

December 23, 1986

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ Mukluk, a stray Alaskan sled dog who was found on a Spokane street two weeks ago and faced a Christmas Eve date with death, has a new home in Southern California.

Several dozen employees of the Los Angeles Times greeted the 18-month-old malamute when he arrived in Los Angeles on Monday night. The circulation department employees had collected more than $200 to cover the dog’s air fare.

Marianne Niemczyk, director of the Spokane County Animal Shelter who named the stray, said she became attached to the dog. She called him a ″character.″

″He sits, shakes hands, knocks you over, grabs your arm and pulls you along, and sings,″ she said. ″If you howl with him, he will howl.″

An Associated Press picture of the dog, licking Niemczyk, appeared in the Times Friday and set off a round of calls from Southern Californians wanting to adopt the animal, the shelter director said.

If the dog hadn’t been adopted, Niemczyk said Monday the dog would have been euthaized on Wednesday. The caption mentioned that animals were kept for a limited time at the center before they had to be adopted or humanely destroyed.

As a result of the picture’s appearance in the Times, Niemcyzk said, ″We were flooded with calls from the Los Angeles area wanting the dog. We had many offers. One man offered to fly his own plane up and get the dog.″

The best offer, she decided, came from employees in the Times’ circulation department, who took up the collection to pay for the dog’s airfare to Los Angeles.

The Times employees raised well over the $200 needed to pay for the dog’s flight, said assistant circulation manager Norm Davis.

Mukluk will live with a circulation supervisor’s family at a semi-rural home in the San Fernando Valley. His adopted family will include two other dogs, some cats, a goat, a horse and a rabbit.

″He may be my husband’s Christmas present,″ said Dianne Acosta, the California woman who took Mukluk home Monday night.

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