UT mascot ‘Smokey’ and SWVA miracle hound meet at pep rally in Knoxville

A puppy found abandoned, and clinging to life in Southwest Virginia has gained national, and even international attention.

The Buchanan County Humane Society named the puppy Watkins after finding him on Watkins Street in Grundy, Va. back in May.

At the time he had a skin condition and was just struggling to stay alive.

Friday, Watkins stopped by our studio in Johnson City on his way to Knoxville.

Stephanie Smith-Justus with the Buchanan County Humane Society said representatives from the University of Tennessee contacted them, wanting to know if Smokey the UT mascot and Watkins could meet.

She told us the two were expected to meet at the UT football pep rally in Knoxville Friday evening.

“They wanted Watkins and Smokey to be friends, so were on our way to Knoxville and he’s going to go to the pep rally and hang out with Smokey tonight. We just thought it would be a great idea for them to be friends they are both hounds they have a lot in common,” Smith-Justus said.

While Watkins is doing better, Smith-Justus tells us he still has to visit the vet weekly for skin issues among other things.

Smith-Justus told us Friday the community has raised more than $30,000 to aid in his recovery.

Copyright WJHL 2015. All rights reserved.

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