WEIRD NEWS
02/08/2013 11:40 am ET

Jen Schwartz Of Homeward Bound: Tonik, Human-Faced Dog, 'Stoic And Reserved,' Doesn't Enjoy Spotlight

Tonik, a dog with an eerily manlike face, attracted quite a bit of attention for Homeward Bound, the Indiana shelter that rescued him. The poodle-Shih Tzu mix's humanoid mug went viral after being highlighted by Gawker earlier this week.

Now, it turns out a lot of people want to take Tonik home. In a phone interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday, Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group owner Jen Schwartz said that her shelter has been flooded with more than 350 applications to adopt the human-faced dog.

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Schwartz told HuffPost it'll be a while before she's able to sort through them, but it's important to find the right fit.

"Its very ironic that he's in the public spotlight," Schwartz remarked to HuffPost. "He's actually a timid dog. He's a little stoic and reserved, and might not be really social at first."

Schwartz thinks Tonik wouldn't be a good match for families with children, since he's not the kind of dog that will want to play around a lot. She also said she's wary of people who might want to adopt Tonik because of his Internet fame.

Schwartz is still trying to wrap her head around all the sudden interest. A few years ago, the shelter had Bart Starr, a dog with a "ruddy coat" that was shortlisted to join the Broadway revival of the musical "Annie." Although that dog appeared on morning shows alongside Al Roker, Schwartz said Tonik has received far more attention.

How much more? Schwartz said that the photos of Tonik that went viral this week are kind of old, dating back to September 2011.

"He's much cuter now," Schwartz said, adding that Tonik has a new hair cut.

Despite his recent grooming, the dog still resembles a fuzzy-faced person. "It's mostly his eyes, but he also has an underbite, which makes his jaw stick out," Schwartz said. "His nose is also flesh colored, so it looks smaller."

Whether you think Tonik looks strange or totally adorable, there are lots of great dogs at Homeward Bound and other shelters that need good homes.

For more information about adopting a pet, visit the ASPCA website.

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