Pets & Animals

911, there's a lion on the loose! Oops, it's a Labradoodle

Many cats get surly when given lion haircuts, but not Charles the Labradoodle. He relishes his majestic style — even if it can result in run-ins with the fuzz.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that 911 dispatchers received a nervous call about a baby lion roaming the streets of Norfolk, Va., possibly on the prowl for something to eat. Concerned police checked with a local zoo to make sure no lions had escaped.

They hadn’t.

As it turned out, all was well. The “baby lion” seen frolicking near Daniel’s Lawn & Garden Center on Colley Avenue was just Charles the dog.

Charles — whose full name is “Charles the Monarch” — regularly hangs out at the business of his fun-loving owner, Daniel Painter. Painter has groomed Charles to resemble the mascot of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, and he’s also created a Facebook page for his beloved pet.

As of this writing, the Labrador retriever and poodle crossbreed has 2,382 fans on Facebook, where he’s characterized as “just your everyday party animal.”

Charles’ fan base is sure to grow in the wake of the media attention over the 911 call. TODAY covered the flap on Wednesday morning and other national outlets have been jumping on the story as well. The dog’s owner is having plenty of fun with the whole incident via social media.

“Who wants a pawtograph?” said one Facebook post from Charles on Wednesday.

Another showed even more enthusiasm.

“Al Roker said I was a lion!” writerLaura T. Coffeysuspects that Charles is one of the best tailgaters in ODU’s history. Here’s where to find Laura onFacebookandTwitter.

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