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Shelters Find Loving Homes for Hoarded, Stray and Disabled Dogs

Posted: Oct 31, 2013 8:25 PM by KOMU 8 Digital Staff
Updated: Nov 9, 2013 9:28 AM

Rating: 5.0 (1 vote)
    •  Sara Kurre and her family adopted Yogi two years ago. They chose Yogi from Columbia Precious Paws. (Photo/Sara Kurre) Sara Kurre and her family adopted Yogi two years ago. They chose Yogi from Columbia Precious Paws. (Photo/Sara Kurre)
    •  Dakota was rescued during a meth raid and immediately caught the eye of Marcia Cook at the Humane Society. Cook says Dakota is the light of her life. (Photo/Marcia Cook) Dakota was rescued during a meth raid and immediately caught the eye of Marcia Cook at the Humane Society. Cook says Dakota is the light of her life. (Photo/Marcia Cook)
    •  Nema Velia says she rescued Baxter on Christmas thinking he was the most pitiful looking dog in the pound. But she says she took one look and knew he was the one. (Photo/Nema Velia) Nema Velia says she rescued Baxter on Christmas thinking he was the most pitiful looking dog in the pound. But she says she took one look and knew he was the one. (Photo/Nema Velia)
    •  Nema Velia says Baxter loves to go on runs and hang out at neighborhood parks. Velia says she was skeptical about adopting an older dog, but could not have made a better choice. (Photo/Nema Velia) Nema Velia says Baxter loves to go on runs and hang out at neighborhood parks. Velia says she was skeptical about adopting an older dog, but could not have made a better choice. (Photo/Nema Velia)
    •  Two roommates had a wish for a dog that ended with getting Ernie. The dog is blind in one eye and had moved from shelter to shelter. But Elizabeth Sweeney says Ernie is the sweetest, most loving dog, and makes their lives better. (Photo/Elizabeth Sweeney) Two roommates had a wish for a dog that ended with getting Ernie. The dog is blind in one eye and had moved from shelter to shelter. But Elizabeth Sweeney says Ernie is the sweetest, most loving dog, and makes their lives better. (Photo/Elizabeth Sweeney)
    •  Bro is half Chihuahua, half pit bull, which is why his first owners left him at Columbia Second Chance. His new family says Bro loves everyone and will eat anything. Owner Kelley Lucero says he is the cutest dog in the world. (Photo/Kelley Lucero) Bro is half Chihuahua, half pit bull, which is why his first owners left him at Columbia Second Chance. His new family says Bro loves everyone and will eat anything. Owner Kelley Lucero says he is the cutest dog in the world. (Photo/Kelley Lucero)
    •  Courtney Kerns says when her family saw Lula, it was love at first sight. They did not initially want a border collie and Lula had a poor coat. But, a year later, Kerns says Lula is confident and has made a great transformation. (Photo/Courtney Kerns) Courtney Kerns says when her family saw Lula, it was love at first sight. They did not initially want a border collie and Lula had a poor coat. But, a year later, Kerns says Lula is confident and has made a great transformation. (Photo/Courtney Kerns)
    •  Jenna Pugsley and her boyfriend, Chase Phelps, adopted Daphne recently and say life with a puppy can be rough (she likes to chew things). But Pugsley says will never regret adopting the dog. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley) Jenna Pugsley and her boyfriend, Chase Phelps, adopted Daphne recently and say life with a puppy can be rough (she likes to chew things). But Pugsley says will never regret adopting the dog. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley)
    •  Jenna Pugsley says adopting a dog is a big commitment for a college student. But, she says raising a puppy like Daphne to be your best friend is the most rewarding thing. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley) Jenna Pugsley says adopting a dog is a big commitment for a college student. But, she says raising a puppy like Daphne to be your best friend is the most rewarding thing. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley)
    •  Paige Wheeler adopted Shiloh two months ago and describes her as a lover of snuggling. Wheeler says Shiloh can always make her smile and has added so much joy to her life. (Photo/Paige Wheeler) Paige Wheeler adopted Shiloh two months ago and describes her as a lover of snuggling. Wheeler says Shiloh can always make her smile and has added so much joy to her life. (Photo/Paige Wheeler)
    •  Paige Wheeler says Shiloh is usually full of energy, but the dog could not quite stay awake late to watch the Cardinals play in the World Series. (Photo/Paige Wheeler) Paige Wheeler says Shiloh is usually full of energy, but the dog could not quite stay awake late to watch the Cardinals play in the World Series. (Photo/Paige Wheeler)
    •  The Parker family saved Ziggy almost three years ago from a hoarding situation. The family says, although Ziggy does not like to be petted as much as they would like, she is family and they love her to bits. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker) The Parker family saved Ziggy almost three years ago from a hoarding situation. The family says, although Ziggy does not like to be petted as much as they would like, she is family and they love her to bits. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker)
    •  The Parker family also adopted Stanley, getting him from Callaway Hills near Jefferson Hills. They say Stanley is very gentle with Ziggy and is a wonderful dog. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker) The Parker family also adopted Stanley, getting him from Callaway Hills near Jefferson Hills. They say Stanley is very gentle with Ziggy and is a wonderful dog. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker)
    •  Adam Wood said he and his wife, Lona Wood, were nervous about adopting a puppy, but that it is the best decision they have ever made. Moose loves to swim and train obedience. Adam calls Moose the highlight of his small family. (Photo/Adam Wood) Adam Wood said he and his wife, Lona Wood, were nervous about adopting a puppy, but that it is the best decision they have ever made. Moose loves to swim and train obedience. Adam calls Moose the highlight of his small family. (Photo/Adam Wood)
    •  Adam Wood says before he adopted Moose, he was hard set on buying a dog with strong bloodlines and impressive papers. Instead, Wood says, he saved a life, and giving Moose a home is the ultimate reward. (Photo/Adam Wood) Adam Wood says before he adopted Moose, he was hard set on buying a dog with strong bloodlines and impressive papers. Instead, Wood says, he saved a life, and giving Moose a home is the ultimate reward. (Photo/Adam Wood)
    • Sara Kurre and her family adopted Yogi two years ago. They chose Yogi from Columbia Precious Paws. (Photo/Sara Kurre)
    • Dakota was rescued during a meth raid and immediately caught the eye of Marcia Cook at the Humane Society. Cook says Dakota is the light of her life. (Photo/Marcia Cook)
    • Nema Velia says she rescued Baxter on Christmas thinking he was the most pitiful looking dog in the pound. But she says she took one look and knew he was the one. (Photo/Nema Velia)
    • Nema Velia says Baxter loves to go on runs and hang out at neighborhood parks. Velia says she was skeptical about adopting an older dog, but could not have made a better choice. (Photo/Nema Velia)
    • Two roommates had a wish for a dog that ended with getting Ernie. The dog is blind in one eye and had moved from shelter to shelter. But Elizabeth Sweeney says Ernie is the sweetest, most loving dog, and makes their lives better. (Photo/Elizabeth Sweeney)
    • Bro is half Chihuahua, half pit bull, which is why his first owners left him at Columbia Second Chance. His new family says Bro loves everyone and will eat anything. Owner Kelley Lucero says he is the cutest dog in the world. (Photo/Kelley Lucero)
    • Courtney Kerns says when her family saw Lula, it was love at first sight. They did not initially want a border collie and Lula had a poor coat. But, a year later, Kerns says Lula is confident and has made a great transformation. (Photo/Courtney Kerns)
    • Jenna Pugsley and her boyfriend, Chase Phelps, adopted Daphne recently and say life with a puppy can be rough (she likes to chew things). But Pugsley says will never regret adopting the dog. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley)
    • Jenna Pugsley says adopting a dog is a big commitment for a college student. But, she says raising a puppy like Daphne to be your best friend is the most rewarding thing. (Photo/Jenna Pugsley)
    • Paige Wheeler adopted Shiloh two months ago and describes her as a lover of snuggling. Wheeler says Shiloh can always make her smile and has added so much joy to her life. (Photo/Paige Wheeler)
    • Paige Wheeler says Shiloh is usually full of energy, but the dog could not quite stay awake late to watch the Cardinals play in the World Series. (Photo/Paige Wheeler)
    • The Parker family saved Ziggy almost three years ago from a hoarding situation. The family says, although Ziggy does not like to be petted as much as they would like, she is family and they love her to bits. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker)
    • The Parker family also adopted Stanley, getting him from Callaway Hills near Jefferson Hills. They say Stanley is very gentle with Ziggy and is a wonderful dog. (Photo/Matt, Becky and Josh Parker)
    • Adam Wood said he and his wife, Lona Wood, were nervous about adopting a puppy, but that it is the best decision they have ever made. Moose loves to swim and train obedience. Adam calls Moose the highlight of his small family. (Photo/Adam Wood)
    • Adam Wood says before he adopted Moose, he was hard set on buying a dog with strong bloodlines and impressive papers. Instead, Wood says, he saved a life, and giving Moose a home is the ultimate reward. (Photo/Adam Wood)

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News is wrapping up its coverage of adopt-a-dog month with a second round of photos of beloved rescues. (Click image on left to open the full gallery.)

Several of the featured dogs came from difficult backgrounds.

Courtney Kerns said she initially didn't want a high-energy working breed, but her adopted dog, Lula, changed her mind.

The dog had a poor coat and was extremely shy when she first saw her, but Kerns said she fell in love.

Lula has evolved into a "confident and beautiful dog," Kerns said. Lula still has herding instincts, Kerns said, but is kept happy with extensive runs in the woods every day.

Marcia Cook said her Shiba-Inu, named Dakota, was one of 72 dogs picked up in a 2004 raid on a meth lab and puppy mill. The dog was "shaking uncontrollably" and looked desperate to get out of her cage, she said.

Dakota did not like noises or strange people, Cook said. "I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to get a dog to act like a dog. She didn't know how," she said.

Nema Velia said her dog, Baxter, was "timid, frightened and very dirty" when she rescued him. "He was probably the most pitiful looking dog in the pound at the time," Velia said.

She was initially skeptical about adopting an older dog but quickly changed her mind, she said. "I don't feel I could have made a better choice."

Elizabeth Sweeney said her husky mix, Ernie, had been bounced from shelter to shelter. The dog, who is blind in one eye, was having a hard time finding the right home, she said.

Ernie's disability hasn't held him back at all, Sweeney said. "What he lacks in depth perception he makes up for in cuddles and love."

Anyone who is skeptical of adopting a dog with special needs should not be, Sweeney said. "Ernie is the sweetest, most loving dog, and everyday he makes our lives better."

Adopt-a-dog month is every year in October. Shelters around the nation, including several in Missouri, celebrated with adopt-a-thons and other events.

Coverage by KOMU 8 News included the story of a lost dog rescued with the help of KOMU's Facebook users; rescuers who foster dogs; the efforts of the Central Missouri Humane Society efforts to build a positive image for humane care in Columbia; older dogs and black dogs,who are hard to find homes for; and another gallery of rescued and adopted dogs.

(Photo gallery written and producer by Devon Fasbinder, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter)

(Editor's note: this story has been edited to clarify a portion of the paragraphs about Dakota.)

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