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UPDATE: Sisu & His Stuffed Sidekick Venture To Virginia And Inspire Acts of Kindness

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on July 26, 2022


We shared the story of the young Lab mix, Sisu, who tried five separate times to steal the same unicorn from a Dollar General in North Carolina. People all over the country were touched by Animal Control Officer Samantha Lane’s kindness of purchasing the purple unicorn for him. Never mind Sisu’s adorable habit of snuggling up with and carrying the unicorn wherever he went!

Sisu and unicorn
Image Credit: Anne Cockram Bennett

Sisu and Officer Lane’s story even inspired others to perform small acts of kindness of their own. Lynchburg Jewelry and Loan, a retail business in Virginia, decided to donate 50 purple unicorn dog toys to the Lynchburg Humane Society. Their hope was that families would see the adoptable dogs loving their toys, like they saw Sisu, and fall in love with and adopt them. They even sponsored some of the adoptable animals by covering their adoption fees.

Image Credit: Lynchburg Humane Society

While it was previously thought that Sisu had already been placed with a family, he hasn’t yet found his forever home. Shortly after Officer Lane escorted him to Duplin County Animal Services, Sisu was sent to Lab Rescue LRCP. A non-profit, virtual organization that rescues, fosters, and finds forever homes for Labrador Retrievers in the mid-Atlantic states. The rescue pups are fostered in the homes of volunteers as they await their forever families.

On the way to his temporary foster home, Sisu made a short stop at the same Dollar General where he had attempted unicorn theft.

“We took him back to the Dollar General so he could see the employees there,” explains Joe Newburn, a supervisor at Duplin County Animal Services.

After stopping by the store, Sisu ventured to The Pet Lodge in Yorktown Virginia where he is receiving basic training and being prepared for adoption. He is currently staying with and being trained by owner Sterrie Weaver, a volunteer who has been with Lab Rescue LRCP since 2002.

Sterrie and Sisu
Image Credit: Mary Shannon Johnstone

“Lab Rescue LRCP wanted to make sure he was neutered, and that they understood what his particular needs and temperament was like before they placed him in a home” shared Mary Shannon Johnstone from Duplin County Animal Services.

Staying at The Pet Lodge has allowed Lab Rescue LRCP to get to know Sisu, so they can screen families and find a home that best suits his personality and individual needs. This sweet pup gets along well with other dogs, likes to go for rides in golf carts, enjoys belly rubs, loves chewing and isn’t shy about giving kisses. 

A super lucky family will soon be able to welcome the unicorn-loving pup into their home. Applications for his adoption officially open this week. 

Sisu with toy
Image Credit: Mary Shannon Johnstone

If you are interested in adopting Sisu or want to make a donation to support labs like Sisu find their forever home, you can do so on their website:


Throughout our lives, we are often encouraged to “chase our dreams.” Well, one-year-old Sisu, a lab-mix from eastern North Carolina, did exactly this. Only, instead of having predictable puppy dreams of dog bones and tennis balls, this determined dog dreamed of taking home a very specific stuffed purple unicorn from Dollar General. 

On Sunday, March 21st, Animal Control received a call about a stray dog that kept entering a Dollar General as customers exited. Once inside the store, single-minded Sisu headed straight for a stuffed purple unicorn.

He didn’t even hesitate to browse the pet section or stop to sniff any other stuffed animal. All five times he entered, he beelined straight to the same exact purple unicorn. 

Sisu with his unicorn
Image Credit: Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

“He’d walk in, go to that unicorn and try to get it. He did it four or five times before they locked the door and called us to come get him. Maybe he had a stuffed animal like that in his original home. I don’t know, but he wanted that purple unicorn bad,” said Joe Newburn of Duplin County Animal Services.

When Animal Control Officer Samantha Lane showed up at the store, she saw Sisu standing near the entrance, where he was likely waiting for another customer to leave so he could sneak inside. She went in, purchased the $10 unicorn, and put it on the front seat of her vehicle. Once he saw his prized unicorn, the contented pup hopped into her truck without hesitation, and the trio headed off to Duplin County Animal Services. 

“This is something she’s always done,” Newburn said of Officer Lane. “This isn’t something new to her, it’s just a different dog, but yes, she’s always doing this stuff for the animals.”

Sisu with Officer Lane
Image Credit: Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

It was at the shelter that he was given the name “Sisu” after the dragon character from the new Disney film, Raya and the Last Dragon. They also discovered that he loves affection, knows a few commands, and is obedient to people. During his time at the shelter, Sisu took his beloved unicorn everywhere he went, even cuddling up with it as he slept.

Sisu laying with unicorn
Image Credit: Duplin County Animal Shelter/Facebook

The story of Sisu and his purple unicorn spread quickly after the shelter posted the inspirational story and heartwarming photos on their Facebook page. Not long after he arrived, there was a long list of potential adopters interested in meeting him and his unicorn. No owner came forward to claim this handsome boy, so he and his purple unicorn were officially adopted into a new loving forever home where they can be best friends forever!

Sisu cuddling unicorn
Image Credit: Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

People all over the country were touched by Officer Lane’s kind gesture and Sisu’s persistence. Even Dollar General has expressed their gratitude to Animal Control Officer Lane. They plan to make a pet food donation to the shelter and will be sending a “few extra purple unicorns” to Sisu and his forever family.

Sisu may not have successfully “stolen” his stuffed purple unicorn, but he has succeeded in stealing the hearts of people all across the country. This story shows just how much impact even the smallest acts of kindness can have on the world and reminds us to always chase our dreams. We may have more to gain than we realize!

H/T: (Original)

H/T: (Update)

Featured Image: Anne Cockram Bennett

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