Is he your spirit animal? Prospect Park’s feral Ghost Dog up for adoption

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

This dog will have to get used to a smaller backyard.

Prospect Park’s legendary Ghost Dog — a feral pooch that roamed the green space without an owner for years — is up for adoption at Sean Casey Animal Rescue, but not just any animal lover will have the chance to domesticate the formerly wild mastiff.

“There are a lot of applications in for him but we have to be really careful,” said Casey.

About 40 suitors have put in requests for the chocolate brown and black Cane Corso — a testament to the dog’s celebrity status, as most other adoptees get just one or two. But Casey said the formerly homeless pooch needs a special home.

“He just needs someone to be patient and control him; somebody with large dog experience who could physically hold on to him,” said Casey, who won’t hand the dog over until he conducts a series of interviews and contacts personal references and past veterinarians.

Ghost Dog evaded rescuers and animal control authorities for years, building a phantasmal presence that haunted some park-goers and dog walkers — though many doubted the tale of a dog living on his own in the park until Casey caught the pooch in May after he fell ill.

“At first I thought it was an urban myth,” said Milena Schmidt, a blogger who runs “But he’s true. Ghost Dog is a the stuff of legends.”

Ghost Dog was the subject of a movie (no, not this one) and gained a reputation as Prospect Park’s spirit animal — sometimes with the pet name “Prospero.”

Fans studied his routines and knew where to find — and feed — him in the park.

He spent mornings over by the Vanderbilt Playground and enjoyed the sunset hour near the entrance to the Quaker Cemetery, and had a cadre of people who would bring him food, said Casey.

Casey claims the pooch was feral for four years but had at least one previous owner, evidenced by the fact his tail and ears are clipped.

That cosmetic work has led some to assume he escaped from an owner who prized fierceness, but Casey says Ghost Dog is as friendly as Casper.

“He’s going to make an excellent dog,” he said. “He is very trusting and very loving and has no aggression.”

That said, the dog’s new owner shouldn’t expect to bring him to Prospect Park anytime soon — because he’s more than accustomed to the off-leash lifestyle.

“I’m hoping that one day he’ll be rehabilitated to the point where we can walk him through the park,” said Casey. “He was no dummy when he was living there.”

Ghost Dog may be one of the borough’s most storied canines, but he’s not the only famous dog in town.

Williamsburg German Shepherd Cassius won an award in 2010 for its work in search and rescue missions after disasters in Haiti, Sri Lanka, and New Orleans.

To apply to adopt Ghost Dog contact the Sean Casey Animal Rescue. [153 E. Third St. between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue in Kensington, (718) 436–5163].

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at
Updated 7:10 am, January 7, 2013
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!