There’s no place like home for safety — just ask Hampton. The 8-year-old from Coopersville has gone from waiting for his “fur-ever” home to standing as the top dog in town as Michigan Gas Utilities’ (MGU’s) first safe digging ‘ambassadog.’

MGU customers and dog lovers alike cast thousands of votes for the best canine to remind everyone to call 811 at least three days before digging. As the top vote-getter, Hampton will spend the next year reminding people across Michigan to call 811 before they dig.

Hampton’s journey to becoming MGU’s first ‘ambassadog’ started hundreds of miles away. The pit bull-mastiff mix originally lived in an animal shelter in Arkansas with more than 200 other dogs until October 2020. That’s when a volunteer from a Grand Rapids dog rescue — who would end up becoming Hampton’s dog mom — visited and agreed to help find a home in Michigan for him and 11 more dogs.

At first, Hampton’s parents weren’t planning to adopt him — until they saw how well he bonded with their dog, Cedar. Hampton has called western Michigan home ever since, becoming a foster brother to numerous other dogs. And while he enjoys being playful with his foster siblings, he loves to dig — especially in a large dirt pile in his backyard.

Watch for Hampton serving as MGU’s chief canine communicator in its safe digging campaign throughout 2023.

About 811

Whether you’re planting a garden or installing a fence, you could be putting yourself in danger if you strike an underground natural gas line or electrical cable. Contact 811 at least three days before you dig to have the location of buried utility lines marked — and to keep you and your family safe.