SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — After losing his ears, a Sacramento pup is home with his new family Friday, wearing new “ears” carefully crocheted just for him by one of the technicians who helped nurse him back to health.

Willy is around 2 years old and came to the Sacramento SPCA after, a spokesperson said, he became stuck in a fence and was attacked by dogs at a neighboring home. Emergency veterinarians had to remove his ear flaps in their response.

John Holmquist is a registered veterinary technician (veterinary-speak for a nurse, he said) and helped care for Willy while he was at the shelter, helping change his bandages and care for the animal.

Holmquist said once the dog was well enough, he wanted to do something special for him.

“In about an hour or two, just whipped him up something after some measurements and the next day just giggled to myself as I put it over his head,” Holmquist said, smiling. “He wasn’t really happy with the hat, but he’s a happy boy, so he was good enough to take a bunch of pictures for us.”

The team posted the images on Facebook, garnering thousands of likes.

“When you lose both of your ears after a dog attack, but your vet tech knits you new ones,” the post reads.

Holmquist said he worried potential adopters may be deterred from welcoming the sweet-natured dog into their homes due to his scarring.

“I was really worried that a bunch of people were going to see all of his extensive scaring and be really worried about his health or look over him or worry he’d be dog aggressive. I worried that he wouldn’t get a good home,” he said. “As soon as he had that hat on everyone was interested. I’m glad he got adopted.”

The family who adopted Willy shared the following message:

“Willy Wonka really caught my eye on Sacramento SPCA’s live they do every Wednesday on Facebook! His story, and knowing nobody had went to adopt him yet, really broke my heart, this poor baby was patiently waiting for someone to fall in love with him and his substitute ears! His demeanor really inspired me that even when you get knocked down, continue to be yourself! Thank you Sacramento SPCA for bringing him into our life and for taking care of all the wonderful dogs that come to you!” “We knew he would be just fine,” Holmquist said.

A spokesperson for the SPCA said the shelter has seen an increase in the number of dogs, particularly larger breed dogs, coming into their care recently.

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