Husky with lopsided face finds his forever family, and they drove over 2,000 miles just to get him

It all started with a Facebook post by Joy Ollinger, a Humane Officer at the San Diego County Department of Animal Services in Carlsbad.

To give them the attention they needed, Ollinger posted pictures of pups ready to be adopted from their shelter, adding how they would make excellent pets in her caption.

One of the pups waiting for a forever home was Harvey, a husky around two years old with a facial deformity, giving him an endearing and lopsided grin.

Harvey was called 'ugly' because of his crooked smile.

While most found this facial deformity cute and unique, others thought it was “ugly.”

Harvey arrived at the Carlsbad shelter in September 2022, looking thin and dirty. Harvey was named after the DC Comics character Harvey Dent because of his crooked smile. (In the comic, Harvey later became Two-Face, one of Batman’s many archenemies.)

According to Ollinger, Harvey was examined by veterinarians. The facial deformity is most likely due to being bitten when Harvey was a young puppy. The good news is that it doesn’t bother or hurt Harvey.

The Lankston family from Washington who drove thousands of miles to meet and bring home Harvey

But sadly, Harvey’s facial deformity seems to bother potential adopters.

According to Ollinger, people would walk past Harvey and not give him a second look. She even heard people commenting he was ugly because of his facial deformity.

Ollinger added that Harvey was not requested to be taken out for interaction or a possible adoption the entire time he was in the shelter.

It made them sad for Harvey, whom they loved very much, because they knew how sweet, bright, and quiet this puppy with a lopsided grin was.

It was love at first meeting for the Lankston family and Harvey

Harvey loves to seek attention and often lies by Ollinger’s feet in her office. Whenever she would type on her computer, Harvey loved to put his front paw up and look at the keyboard. A brilliant and funny dog, indeed! 

Moreover, he’s a mellow dog who gets along with other dogs. He also loves treats. Even with a facial deformity, Harvey has so much love to give.

This drove Ollinger to create a Facebook post about Harvey’s remarkable personality, crooked smile, how much he had to offer, and why he should be given a chance. 

Fortunately, Ollinger’s Facebook post caught the attention of a family living in Woodinville, Washington. 

Harvey and River finally meet

It was love at first sight for Sherry Lankston, 41 years old. She quickly responded to the Facebook post, even if she was located over 1,000 miles away from the shelter.  

According to Sherry, once she saw Harvey’s silly grin, she knew they had to meet him. She found Harvey so wonky and adorable.

She jokingly told her husband they had already found their second dog. They’d been looking for another dog so their first dog, River, would have a friend. But nothing seemed to click. 

While she wasn’t actively looking for a dog to adopt when she saw the Facebook post, Sherry found it hard to resist Harvey’s sweet face and goofy smile.

She only saw the cutest dog ever. Not a dog with a facial deformity. 

After thinking about it some more, Sherry knew that Harvey was the perfect dog for their family. He was the one. 

Sherry immediately reached out to Ollinger about her desire to adopt Harvey. Within three days, she and her two kids, Harrison, 7, and Fionnlagh, 4, plus their dog, River, were on a road trip to Carlsbad.

Sherry also knew Harvey could be adopted before she and her family arrived in San Diego. But it was a risk Sherry was willing to take. After all, there’s nothing sad about Harvey finding someone who will adopt him. 

A road trip to San Diego would be perfect, anyway. It’s been a while since the Lankston family visited their friends and favorite places there. 

So, Sherry drove 2,600 miles for over six days just to see Harvey in person and bring him to his forever home.

Joy Ollinger with the Lankston family at the Carlsbad shelter

Everything turned out great for Harvey and the Lankston family. On their first meeting, Harvey immediately took to Sherry’s kids. Harvey got along really well with River, too. 

The following day, Sherry’s husband, Robert, flew to Carlsbad to meet Harvey, who just walked up to him and leaned against his legs like they were old friends.

The following morning, a Saturday, Harvey began the long trip back home with his new family.

For Ollinger, parting with Harvey was bittersweet. But she and Sherry had become friends, and the latter had been sending text messages, photos, and videos of Harvey almost every day.  

Since Sherry brought Harvey home, she has learned more about Harvey’s rescue story. Someone who saw Harvey’s story on Facebook reached out to her and shared how they were riding their ATVs in the desert and saw Harvey under a bush with two female huskies.

Harvey saved the lives of the two female huskies by helping them follow the ATV back to the car so they could be rescued. The dogs followed them for miles, and they had no leashes on.

The group who helped Harvey and the two female dogs brought them back to their camp to feed them strawberries and chicken hamburger patties.

Meet Harvey the Husky with the unique lopsided grin

Since Harvey’s been home with his new family, he has thrived and is happily settled in with the kids and other animals, including a snail and four cats.

Ollinger hopes that Harvey’s incredible story will encourage adopters to look beyond an animal’s flaws. Read about Suzie’s adoption story or this shelter dog’s emotional thank you. They all need a family to love them and a loving home where they can feel safe. They all deserve a chance. 

The San Diego Department of Animal Services shelter houses approximately 110 dogs at a time. Oftentimes, the shelter reaches its full capacity.

Help save the animals’ lives by giving them a forever home. Adopt a dog like Harvey today. The shelter is open to the public for a visit, and you can walk in or set an appointment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.