CHELSEA, Manhattan — NYC’s beloved “Hugging Dog” is in need of a new home after a fire ripped through her owner’s Chelsea apartment on Christmas Day.
The blaze broke out Monday afternoon at a West 19th Street building, leaving one civilian and one firefighter injured, and several residents homeless, officials said.
Louboutina, a golden retriever who can often be spotted hugging strangers walking at the corner of 19th and Seventh Avenue, and her owner are now without a home, owner Cesar Fernandez announced on the dog’s popular Instagram page.
“We’ll try to bring a hug and a little smile to you, but if you don’t see that often, you know why. Luckily we’re safe, and that’s what is more important,” Fernandez said in an Instagram video in which Louboutina is seen nuzzling and licking her human companion.
Louboutina, who also goes by “Loubie,” earned the nickname “The Hugging Dog” after becoming a neighborhood attraction and Instagram star for her sidewalk affections.
Loubie and Fernandez were out for a walk when they came back to discover their home was on fire, he said.
A woman has since made a GoFundMe page in order to help Fernandez and Loubie “get back on their feet.” In nine hours, more than $26,000 was donated by about 500 people.