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.)