'Ralphie is a terror in a somewhat small package,' read the post, before adding that the shelter is unable to sugar-coat his undesirable qualities.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 25, 2023. It has since been updated.
Ralphie, the "fire-breathing demon" dog, is available for adoption, but it looks like only the "Mother of Dragons" is willing to take him in. He looks like any other adorable dog from afar but he is also living proof of the fact that looks can be deceptive. Ralphie is not for the faint of heart, cautioned the Niagara SPCA in New York, who posted a list of all of his “less than desirable traits." According to TODAY, this 26-pound black-and-white dog is a highly sought-after pooch, at first glance. "People should be banging down our doors for him. We promise you, that won’t be the case," the animal shelter wrote in a Facebook post. "Ralphie is a terror in a somewhat small package."
"Lots of people withheld Ralphie’s less-than-desirable traits, but we’re going to tell you all about it," read the caption. "He’s a whole jerk- not even half. Everything belongs to him. If you dare test his ability to possess THE things, wrath will ensue. If you show a moment of weakness, prepare to be exploited. Sounds fun, huh?" The shelter's staff members are experts at crafting adoption posts but Ralphie has them scratching their heads. "Sometimes we can sugar coat the less than desirable traits like- prefers to be an only child," the shelter's Facebook post said. "This one stumps us though. We don’t have too many nice things to say so we’re just going to come out with it."
This terrifying little canine is still on the lookout for a loving home, though. "I loved him as soon as he came in," Liz Marshall, a marketing coordinator with the non-profit told USA TODAY. "But he can be a little Jekyll and Hyde. You never really know what you're going to get."
Niagara SPCA's "best guess" for Ralphie's behavioral pattern is that his "cute face got him whatever he wanted and boundaries are something he heard people talk about, but they didn’t apply to him." The shelter further claimed that Ralphie's first owners took him to board and train but because their relationship was based on the idea that Ralphie was the boss, things came to an abrupt stop. Those owners said, Ralphie "annoys our older dog."
"What they actually meant was: Ralphie is a fire-breathing demon and will eat our dog, but hey, he’s only 26lbs," the shelter said. Moreover, if your ankles are exposed around Ralphie, you might want to do something about it. If not, that's all on you." The ideal home for Ralphie is the Mother of Dragons," the Facebook post by the shelter continued, referring to Emilia Clarke's in "Game of Thrones," "or an adult home free of other animals, with an owner who will lead him calmly and sternly- putting up with zero crap." Ralphie was shown aggressively leaping at a shelter employee's fingers as they attempted to enter his cage to grab a toy in his most recent training session, which was posted in the hopes that the public would help find a solution to his hostility.
“He’s not just jumping here,” a Facebook post clarified. “He’s trying to bite their fingers as they unlatch the kennel. Their fearful hesitation is a signal to him that he's controlling this situation.” The shelter acknowledges that Ralphie has a history of biting. They are unsure of the circumstances because his prior owner refuses to return their calls. The good news is that Ralphie's former trainer will provide his new adoptive parents' training materials they think he needs to succeed in a household. "We're vetting a lot of his meet and greets so he goes to the right home where he stays forever," Liz Marshall said.