Feb. 21—A pooch now on his fourth term of shelter at the Niagara County SPCA has hit the national media big-time for all the wrong reasons.
On Saturday, the major news outlet CNN picked up on a series of shelter Facebook posts detailing the chronicles of a "fire-breathing" dog known as Ralphie.
The news outlet reported, based on accounts from the shelter's Facebook page, that Ralphie was returned after the latest in a series of unsuccessful adoptions, the French bulldog's third.
The so-called adorable "jerk" dog apparently gassed out another owner, with the shelter noting that Ralphie "proved to be more than she could handle."
Shelter representatives tried to find a place for the pup with the unique personality back in January, describing Ralphie as "terror in a somewhat small package."
According to shelter posts, Ralphie's first owners returned him after he failed to respond to training. His second owners brought him back because he couldn't get along with one of their other dogs, the shelter noted.
In reporting on the unmanageable hound, CNN pulled a post from the Niagara SPCA's shelter that read: "What they actually meant was: Ralphie is a fire-breathing demon and will eat our dog, but hey, he's only 26lbs."
SPCA of Niagara Executive Director Amy Lewis said that may be a bit of an overstatement.
"I've not seen any actual fire coming from him," Lewis said. "But he is a bit of a dragon."
Lewis said Ralphie is adverse to brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and some other moving objects. He also "doesn't play well" with other dogs.
CNN reported that the Niagara SPCA is now inviting potential Ralphie owners to submit a letter of interest and a "dog experience" resume. Lewis said her shelter has received inquiries from as far away as Portugal.
The shelter said it is raising money to assist in providing Ralphie with additional training. He'll be spending the next six weeks in a Grand Island boarding and training facility.
"We're going to see if we can successfully manage his behavior before we adopt him again," Lewis said.