Local News: Jackson unicorn dog Narwhal featured in 2022 calendar (4/11/22)

Narwhal is featured on the cover of the WeRateDogs 2022 Day-to-Day Calendar. He is owned by Rochelle Steffen, who runs Mac’s Mission, an organization that rescues animals that are injured or have birth defects.


A Jackson puppy who became internationally famous because of a tail growing from its forehead is becoming even more famous thanks to being featured in a calendar.

Narwhal the Little Magical Furry Unicorn became well known after Rochelle Steffen, founder of Mac’s Mission in Jackson, posted a photo of the dog to social media in late 2019.

The beagle-dachshund mix was found, along with his litter mate, by two girls at a dump site. Mac’s Mission was contacted and told about the interesting protrusion growing from the dog’s forehead. Volunteers from Mac’s Mission — which focuses on rescuing animals that have suffered abuse, serious injury or birth defects — brought the two puppies back to their facility, and, after, assessing their health, Steffen posted a photo of Narwhal to the Mac’s Mission Facebook page .

“I post pictures of our dogs on Facebook to show people and ask for sponsors and donations for the organization. When I posted the picture of Narwhal it was like lighting a stick of dynamite on social media,” said Steffen, who started Mac’s Mission in 2011 after she rescued Mac, a pit bull with serious health issues, and wanted to help other dogs.

Steffen said she had offers of up to $2 million to purchase Narwhal, but decided he was too special to give up. The organization also received threats on Narwhal’s life because of the deformity, according to Steffen, so she was worried about the dog’s safety if sold to anyone.

Steffen was later approached by Matt Nelson, creator of the popular Twitter account WeRateDogs, about featuring Narwhal on the cover of the WeRateDogs 2022 Day-to-Day Calendar. Steffen said she now receives text messages and posts on the Mac’s Mission Facebook page of people showing her their Narwhal calendars. Since the calendar was published last year, Nelson has toured the Mac’s Mission facility and donated $2,000 to help the group rescue more dogs with health problems.

Since Mac the pit bull passed away in January 2021, Narwhal has become the “spokesdog” of Mac’s Mission and Steffen said he is usually recognized when she takes him places.

The organizers have some big ideas to gain more funding to save at-risk dogs. Steffen is on the search for a live-in van to take Mac’s Mission and Narwhal on the road.

She also would like to partner with a stuffed-animal company to create replicas of some of the dogs with physical deformities. Steffen said if she could make a partnership happen she would like for a percentage of the sales to go to rescuing animals.

For more information about Mac’s Mission, visit www.macsmission.org.

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