Dog Mistaken For Lion Raises Panic

Some clever grooming prompted a 911 call when a dog was mistaken for a lion roaming the streets. INSIDE EDITION has the scoop.

What would you do if you saw a creature that looked like a lion running through your neighborhood?

Lots of people in Norfolk, Virginia, called 911.

911 operator:  “911 what's your emergency?”
Caller: “There is a lion that ran across the street. A baby lion.”
911 operator: “Oh, ok.”

The 911 operator quickly notified a cop on the street.

911 operator: “There's a vicious animal, according to the complainant, baby lion is loose from the zoo.”
Officer: “What was that last transmission?”

The officer couldn't believe what he's hearing as the calls keep coming in.

Caller:  “I just saw a baby lion.”
911 operator: “What kind of animal?”
Caller: “Lion, a baby lion.”
911 operator: “Ok, you think it's looking for food?”
Caller:  “I don't know.”

But that "lion" isn't a lion at all. It's a dog and his name is Charles, and he’s definitely no "King of the jungle."

Charles is a labradoodle, and his owner Daniel Painter has groomed him to look just like a lion.

Painter said, “People panicked because they thought a lion was loose from the zoo. They get a lot of 911 calls about him.”

Painter is part of a growing trend called “Extreme Grooming.” When Dogs are groomed to look like other animals.  One dog was made to look like a panda. And one dog has sharks shaved on both sides of him.

And one is painstakingly turned into an octopus. People seem to love it. Others find it just plain freaky.

After all the chaos he caused, Charles is being treated like a celebrity in Norfolk. But sooner or later everyone will realize this friendly pooch is just looking for a little attention.

Even the police take it in stride.

911 operator: “Downgrade that to a stray animal. It's going to be a large poodle.”