NORFOLK, VA (NBC) -- It all started innocently enough, with a phone call: "911 what's your emergency?"

"I'm driving down the street right before the zoo and there's a lion that ran across the street, a baby lion."

Then  came more 911 calls about a lion loose near the Virginia Zoo....quickly came to the attention of the zoo director...

"At first we all looked at each other like could it be?"

Workers rushed to see if lions Zola and Mramba had escaped from the zoo. The sleeping cats hadn't moved a muscle.

"And immediately i knew the other lion in town."

"We call him our lab a lion"

When you see the face that caused all that fear, you can't help but laugh... at the labradoodle they call "Charles the Monarch."

"I bought him as a puppy. my daughter was going to ODU as a freshman and their mascot is a lion but when he grew as a puppy his fur just blew out."

That's when owner Daniel Painter got the idea... to shave Charlie's fur and dye some of it a darker color... The goal to make the dog more popular at ODU tailgates.

"Now he turned into so much of a celebrity that its her dog again and I'm fine with that too!" said Painter.

So the next time you see a lion on Granby Street or Colley Ave, remember, if it looks like a lion,
and it hunts like a lion....

It's probably just a dog with a funny looking haircut.