Sheila Choi receives hundreds of calls and emails about abandoned animals every day. But the call that Choi, the CEO of Fuzzy Rescue, an animal rescue organization in Los Angeles, was not expecting to receive was the one she got recently from celebrity news Web site TMZ. The outlet called Choi to inform her that Michael Jackson's children, Prince and Paris Jackson, had fallen in love with one of Fuzzy Rescue's animals: a 6-month-old pup named Scooby-Roo.
Scooby-Roo is missing his two front legs, a condition he was likely born with. Since being found covered in wounds under a car, Scooby-Roo has been nursed back to health by Choi and her team, who are also raising funds to get him a cart and therapy treatment to improve his mobility.
Choi says that Jackson's children Prince and Paris, reportedly had been so taken with Scooby-Roo that they had memorized Fuzzy Rescue's bio of the dog, and that they were interested in raising the $2,000 necessary to get Scooby-Roo his first cart. Choi has not yet had direct contact with the children or representatives of the Jackson family, but has had an outpouring of collateral support from fans of the Jacksons.
"To be honest with you, I had different feelings," Choi tells PEOPLEPets.com. "It's like you've won the lottery. On the other hand, it was saddening to know that the public has to see a dog with missing limbs for them to reach out and take interest in homeless animals and rescue dogs."
The Jackson factor catapulted the organization into celebrity animal territory — even Demi Moore has tweeted about the dog. Fuzzy Rescue has received emails and donations from around the world — including from supporters in Russia and Mexico — but no financial contributions have been substantial (the average donation has been from $2-$15). Choi has also been inundated with requests to adopt Scooby-Roo, but she is being very careful about the screening process because she wants this loving and active dog to have a good, long-term home.
Roo, who has been fitted for his first cart and is awaiting its arrival, certainly deserves one.
"He knows that he has limitations — he's very dependent on people for help to be carried out of the house or down the stairs — but he also doesn't want to be discriminated against because of his limitations," Choi said. "He's very friendly to everyone and anyone. He wants to lick everyone and kiss them constantly."