Turkey wins hearts at animal sanctuary with its dog-like behavior

Leon the dog-brained turkey gets a snuggle. Screenshot: KXTV

STOCKTON, Calif., Nov. 15 (UPI) — A turkey at a California animal sanctuary is gaining fame for an unusual reason — he seems to be more dog than bird.

Workers at the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in Stockton said they knew Leon the turkey was unusual right after they obtained him from a Ventura County animal shelter, where he was taken after being found on the streets.

They said Leon’s personality seems more in line with a dog than a turkey — especially when it comes to craving attention from humans.

“He just took to people immediately,” sanctuary manager Christine Morrissey told KXTV.

She said Leon’s origins are unknown, but workers speculate he may have been someone’s pet or he may have escaped intended slaughter.

Morrissey said Leon’s favorite activities include being petted, getting belly rubs and even playing games.

“He has been a love-bug since the point of being rescued,” Morrissey told ABC News. “He like hugs and kisses on the top of his head and getting belly rubs, which is something dogs love as well. His personality has been very sweet and he has gotten more and more interested in being our companion in the sanctuary.”

She said Leon might have a future as a therapy animal.

“He’s definitely a pet turkey, absolutely,” Morrissey said. “Everybody is just swooning over him. He has just captured our hearts in the short time he’s been with us at the sanctuary. We are so privileged and happy to save his life where so many other turkeys, especially in the month of November, are slaughtered for food.”


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