Sisu, the labrador mix stray who captured thousands of hearts as his story went viral, sits next to his favorite toy. Sisu broke into a Dollar General store in Kenansville to get the pink and purple unicorn pictured above.

KENANSVILLE — The heartwarming story of Sisu, a labrador-mix stray dog who broke into a Dollar General store in Kenansville received national attention last week as his story went viral.

According to Joe Newburn, Duplin County Animal Control supervisor, the playful pooch broke into a local Dollar General store, not once but five times, each time darting toward the toy section aiming for a unicorn stuffed animal.

Samantha Lane, the animal control officer who responded to the call to retrieve the stray dog on March 22, purchased the toy to accompany the mischievous 1-year-old pooch on his way to the shelter.

Newburn’s staff, endeared by the persistence of the dog, named him after the unicorn-looking dragon Sisu from the 2021 Disney film “Raya & the Last Dragon.”

Newburn believes that Sisu’s fascination with the unicorn could be an indicator that he had been around a similar toy and mentioned that he could tell the dog had been cared for before he was caught.

“He was well taken care of, he even shakes for treats,” said Newburn. “Wherever he came from probably had some stuffed animal that looked like that.”

Sisu has found a forever home since he arrived at the shelter.

“We found he had a little bit of aggression, but not much, so we decided to send him to a North Carolina Lab rescue,” said Newburn. “They have a home ready to adopt him.”

For more information about other pets, like Sisu, looking for a new home, contact DCAC at 910-296-2159 or visit for details.

Abby Cavenaugh may be reached at or 910-296-0239.