Two dogs were scheduled to die -- set to be euthanized as they reached their deadline for adoption on Monday at a kill shelter in Georgia.
But Kala and Keira were saved at the last minute after a photo of them hugging went viral on social media.
The moving image, posted on Facebook Monday morning by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue -- a Georgia-based group that works to save animals from kill shelters -- was accompanied by a note written as if it were from Kala's perspective as the clock counted down their final hours:
"Keira knows what will happen. You can see it in her eyes. She's putting on a brave face for sure but I can feel her heart beating fast while I'm clinging to her. If no one saves us, someone will take her away from me. I'll see her as she goes down the hallway. She won't come back and I'll cry. They'll come for me next and I won't be as brave. We've comforted each other while we were here. She gave me hope when I had none. Now it's over. Unless... "
The message, together with the heartbreaking image of the two dogs -- behind bars, hugging as if they really did know their lives were on the line -- deeply moved netizens, who rushed to share the Facebook post Monday.
The attention that the post garnered ended up saving the dogs' lives.
Two hours and six minutes after the photo was first posted, Kala and Keira had been saved, Angels Among Us wrote.
"THEY ARE SAFE!!! There are no words to tell you how happy we are that these two best friends are safe and together!" the group said in an update. "This is why we rescue."
In its update, Angels Among Us also defended the shelter:
"It is so easy to say, why won't the shelter do something but they are the ones reaching out to us begging for help. In a perfect world they would be empty as every animal should be loved and in a home. We appreciate the shelter getting this picture to us and allowing us to share it with our followers! We can do amazing things when we all work together!"
Kala and Keira have been saved, but there are pets in shelters across the country who need your help too. Petfinder, Adopt-A-Pet and the ASPCA can help you rescue the perfect companion from a shelter near you.