Celebrity canine Scout visits Victoria to give free hugs

Celebrity canine Scout visits Victoria to give free hugs

WATCH: Instagram sensation Scout visits Victoria and as Tess van Straaten shows us, he’s on a mission to make the world a better place — one hug at a time. 

Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel’s had its fair share of celebrities over the years — and even royalty.

But none, quite like this.

Scout, a golden retriever, is an Instagram sensation with more than 170,000 followers.

The four-year-old therapy dog from Portland is on a mission to make the world a better place — one hug at time.

“I noticed he had an uncanny ability to kind of seek out people who needed love,” explains Melissa Heinone, Scout’s “human.” “And he would bury his head in their lap and give him comfort.”

So Scout started wearing a “free hugs” sign around his neck — and spreading the puppy love.

Scout’s been giving hugs for around two years now and he’s given almost 10,000 hugs in that time.

“I truly feel he was a gift to the world and it’s just been really fun and we’ve met some amazing people,” Heinone says.

Scout’s in Victoria to meet Winston, the Fairmont Empress Hotel’s popular doggie ambassador.

The celebrity canines even had their own photo shoot, complete with matching, monogrammed robes.

“We shot in the Royal suite and the dogs had great fun jumping on the beds and looking out the windows and putting on their new canine robes,” says the Fairmont Empress public relations director Tracey Drake.

After another photo opp in front of the hotel Tuesday morning, the new pooch pals hosted an everyone-welcome community dog walk to Beacon Hill Park.

“What’s so great about dogs is they give people love and they give people relaxation and support,” says walk participant Jade Lake. “My dog does that for me so it’s great to see them together doing that.”

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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