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'Saddest dog in the world' receives more than 3,000 adoption applications

After being dubbed the "saddest dog in the world” by social media users, Lana, a 1-and-a-half-year-old Labrador retriever mix, is well on her way to becoming the happiest.

Rescue Dogs Match (RDM), the Canadian nonprofit caring for her, is overwhelmed with applications to adopt the sweet pup after a picture of her looking terribly forlorn went viral. The picture was posted to Facebook on Oct. 24, accompanied by Lana’s woeful tale of being returned to the rescue organization, after having lived with a family for most of her life.

In the photo, Lana is shown cowering in the back of her kennel, with her head to the wall. She looks truly heartbroken.

Brenda Dobranski, founder of RDM, told TODAY.com that Lana was first adopted out when she was 5 months old to a family with kids over age 10 — one of the organization’s common stipulations.

A year later, the family returned Lana after she snapped at one of the children.

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Upon arriving at the shelter, Lana lost all interest in leaving her kennel. Not even food or affection could lure her out. For a full 24 hours, she did not eat or drink.

“She fell into a deep depression and totally shut down,” said Dobranski, who says that like humans, dogs can also suffer from depression and other emotional upset, especially after being abandoned.

Fortunately, Dobranski and others involved with RDM, were able to help restore Lana’s spirits. Familiar faces helped to do the trick.

“I called one of her previous foster families and she came [to he kennel] with her dog, and they were able to get her out and take her for a walk.”

But even after the visit, Lana was not “at 100 percent,” noted Dobranski. It took the care of another loving family to heal her broken heart.

“We placed her in a foster home, where she is doing much better,” said Dobranski.

A photo uploaded to RDM's Facebook page on Monday shows what looks like a totally different dog, but is in fact, Lana!

The resilient pup is looking in great spirits, but she has yet to find her forever home. Lucky for Lana, there’s no shortage of interest in her by prospective adopters.

“We’ve received over 3,000 emails [inquiring about] her,” said Dobranski.

Much of the interest that is pouring in is coming from people in the U.S who, unfortunately, are not currently eligible to adopt Lana, or any RDM pup.

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“One of our bylaws states that we’re not allowed to adopt our dogs outside of Ontario,” said Dobranski.

Still, things are looking great for Lana, who Dobranksi says is thriving and happy now. Lana has also been assessed by vets for the aggressive behavior that landed her back in the kennel. The aggression has been identified as behavioral and not medical.

Typically, RDM is able to thoroughly screen dogs for aggression, but Lana was just a puppy when she was rescued by the organization, and soon after by her former family, whom Dobranski said made the right choice.

“The family that returned her were responsible in returning her to [us],” said Dobranski. “They love her very much and want to see her in the right environment.”

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