LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Three years ago an abused pit bull broke through a door to escape an abandoned home, only to be shot in the face when he made it out of the house. Now, that dog is living its best life — and has an Instagram following of tens of thousands.
And it's all because Lucky the dog is giving people something to taco-bout.
Lucky is turning five, but just a couple years ago he wasn't doing well. In 2016, Lucky was abandoned in a home where the floors were covered in feces.
Lucky and another dog had eaten through doors to try to find a way out. Eventually, they broke through a glass window and ran onto a property with livestock, where they were apparently shot by the owner. He was later rescued by Great Plains ASPCA and then adopted by the Rudman family.
"I just, I just want to make his life so much better than what it was before," Gina Rudman told WDAF. "I think we're doing that. I think he's a pretty happy guy."
Since starting his new life in Lee's Summit, he's become an internet sensation. Lucky has more than 20,000 followers on Instagram who double tap to love his posts each week for his viral taco Tuesday videos with millions of views.
"It's crazy, and people live for it," Rudman said. "They love watching him eat his tacos, and he loves to crunch the shells. Crunch, crunch, crunch. It's pretty funny."
On his 5th birthday, mom and dad thought what better way to celebrate than with a taco truck from Taco Republic, all of his family and 15 of his fury brothers and sisters. The Rudman's hope Lucky's joy brightens their day as well.
"I can't tell you the messages I get from people who are like, 'Oh my gosh, Lucky! I live for his posts,'" Rudman said. "He makes my day brighter. I rescued a dog because of Lucky. I chose to adopt."
You could say it's a life worth escaping for — enjoyed one taco at a time.
"I never thought that he would be as popular has he is and that people could love him like I love him, and they do," Rudman said. "It's been amazing this whole journey. I just wanted to take cute pictures of my dog, and it's turned into so much more."
Lucky's family said the dog's abusers never faced any charges. They've started their own rescue and nonprofit aimed at bringing animal abusers to justice.