Reaction to viral ‘Subway Sally’ video inspires teen who shared it to take action

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tribune media wire

PORTALES, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — A hungry dog in Portales, New Mexico has captured hearts around the world.

Known as “Subway Sally,” the famous dog showed up to a Subway sandwich shop every day for more than a year begging for food.

Now, the employee who posted a viral video of the dog has been inspired by her to do more in his community.

Giovanni Luhman, who works at the Subway, said it was a normal night at work when he shared the video. “Subway Sally,” as he’s nicknamed the dog, showed up, as usual, ready to “eat fresh.”

“I eventually was at work on my phone and I was like, hey, people might find this cute,” Luhman said. “So I just took a video of it, I didn’t expect it to get this attraction.”

Within a few days, the Tik Tok video had millions of views.

“So I get to work and I checked my phone and it’s at 4 million views and I’m just like, this is crazy. How is it blowing up like this? I didn’t do anything,” Luhman said

Luhman said all of his coworkers care about the dog, regularly spending their own money to feed her. In another video he posted, Luhman can be heard saying, “If we’re too late to give her food, she’ll just go across the street to Taco Bell.”

“We were doing something nice. I mean, she was hungry. I was not gonna let her starve,” said Cecilia Rodriguez, Luhman’s coworker.

For more than a year, sandwich artists at the local Subway rolled out the red carpet for the dog.

“She likes turkey, roast beef, you know, all that stuff,” Luhman said. “We would give her chicken, bacon.”

After the video went viral, Luhman teamed up with a pet rescue, Cindy’s Hope for Precious Paws. The co-founder of the nonprofit said the dog’s real name is Mona. Her owners are now getting the help they need to keep her safe at home, with plenty of food.

Giovanni Luhman’s flier for his pet food drive.

“It’s reassuring knowing that she does, in fact, have an owner,” Luhman said. “She is getting microchipped and spayed and the owner’s fence is being built by the Clovis animal shelter.”

Luhman said he and his coworkers miss seeing the dog every day but now, he is focused on feeding other hungry animals.

“Partnering with that nonprofit organization gives me a little bit more credibility to ask local businesses if I can have them as drop off points for the pet food drive that I’m starting, which will take place in March,” Luhman added.

Luhman’s advice for kids everywhere: “Try to make a difference.”

Luhman said he has been contacted by several companies interested in licensing the video but he does not want to make money off the dog. He just wants to see animals in his town like Mona being cared for.

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