'He Only Wanted the Squeakers': Dog Escapes Kennel, Has Overnight Party in Animal Shelter

What could have been a frightening situation turned cute for one animal shelter in Pennsylvania.

The Bedford County Humane Society on Tuesday told local station, WTAJ, that one of its dogs, Gilligan, a longtime shelter resident, got loose from his kennel overnight after it had accidentally been left unlocked. Instead of making a major mess or getting lost, however, the animal had a much more adorable idea in mind: playing with the shelter's various squeaky toys.

Shelter employee Joyce Ross explained the scene she found upon arriving at the building in the morning.

"So I lock the door, and I came through, and I see Gilligan running around all excited, playing, jumping around," Ross told the local station. "I'm like, 'Gill, how'd you get out?'"

From what Ross was able to gather that morning, Gilligan had had a very specific playtime agenda in mind once he got out of his kennel. He had seemingly taken all of the shelter's non-squeaker toys and put them to the side while he played with all of the squeaky ones, which employees found strewn across multiple hallways.

"He went through each toy one by one to pull out each squeaker," Ross continued. "And the ones that didn't have a squeaker, he pulled out and left alone. He skipped all the ones that didn't have squeakers. He only wanted the squeakers.

"By his look, I saw he was excited and had a great night all night. He was proud, very proud," Ross said.

A video of Gilligan's antics has already garnered well over 2 million views on TikTok as of Tuesday. As a result of the video's viral success, the Bedford County Humane Society said that it has received a new influx of donations.

animal shelter dog squeaky toys
A dog got loose from its kennel at one Pennsylvania animal shelter and spent all night playing with squeaky toys. Here, a representational image of a different dog at an animal shelter. Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

Newsweek reached out to the Bedford County Humane Society for an update on Gilligan's adoption status and was told that Gilligan is not up for adoption due to his rough early life.

"He had a rough start in life and he's very very afraid of people," the Bedford County Humane Society explained to Newsweek. "He knows all of us because we are around him every day and it even takes time for him to know anyone new. He has been our office dog for the last 10 years and he will continue to be here and of course, tear up more toys. He makes the staff hearts happy, we love him."

Gilligan has been hosted by the shelter since he was a puppy and has become something of a mascot for it. Janet Gates, the humane society's manager, spoke about his place at the shelter.

"This is all he's ever known," Gates told WTAJ. "What a great way to show off our shelter and show people what fabulous dogs are waiting at the shelter. Although, I don't think we're going to part with Gilligan."

Updated 01/26/2022, 3:28 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from the Bedford County Humane Society.