Olympic Dogs

Every dog that comes to Encore needs help. Some just need a refresher on manners or how to tame their over the top excitement. Others…they need to learn a whole new way of life. Etowah County dogs Scar, Summer and Star needed that new life.

Summer and Star

Brother and sisters almost three years old, it was unclear if they were actively abused or just severely neglected. What was clear is that they had no experience with people and were terrified of anything or anyone new. They had been scheduled for rescue but the group refused to take them once they saw how much they fought the leash and being put in a crate. They were labeled a bite risk and left for the overcrowded shelter to make the horrible decision if they should be euthanized.


Etowah was desperate to give them another chance and shelter manager Lori Howell reached out to the Southeast Region of Best Friends Animal Society, who recommended they contact us. Our team at Encore discussed it and decided we needed to try to help. There were some logistics to work out. The shelter was further away than any we currently work with, so more transport time was involved. But we figured that out, and brought the trio here for their first two week session in May. We hosted them for another two weeks in June, and a third session in July. A rescue organization in Foley, AL is interested in meeting them. However, they need to wait until their current full pipeline of dogs being transported to a better life up north opens up.

In the meantime, Scar, Summer and Star deserve an Olympic medal for the courage they’ve shown, as well as their ability to change their attitudes and behaviors. Their first few days of transport to Encore were filled with peeing, pooping and throwing up in their crates. They fought the leashes and strained to get as far away from anyone as they could. But with time and the patient love that staffers Charley and Whitney and volunteer Susan surrounded them with, they have become different dogs.

 Scar wins the gold medal. He has transformed himself from being shy and mistrusting to curious and fun loving. He does a happy dance in his kennel when he knows it’s his turn to come out and play! He has become an absolute ham who runs circles around the play yard, interacts with toys, and plops down to be petted once he’s worn himself out. He’s learning sit and here commands.

Summer takes the silver medal. She has learned to play with toys and even throw them in the air to catch them. She runs zoomies in the play yard. She was the bravest of the group to have a BATH during their last visit and sat calmly for the whole thing. She’s also learning how to sit and walk nicely on leash.

Sweet Star gets the bronze. As long as her sister Summer is with her, Star is pretty animated and will play with a toy and even push Summer away to get a treat or a petting. She will come to the front of her crate when it’s her turn to come out, a huge step for her. Star is still quite shy by herself and needs extra patience to coax out some more confidence. She would really do best in a home with another dog who is easy going and can show her the ropes.

All three of these dogs have our hearts. When they were done with their baths, you could just see the joy as they were being dried off and how much better they felt to have all those layers of dirt, drool, pee and poop washed off. Each is capable of bonding with a human and being a part of a family. We hope and pray that a family exists for Scar, Summer and Star – with the patience and caring to bring these dogs back to 100%.

(Scar, Summer and Star are available for adoption at Etowah County Animal Shelter in Piedmont, AL.)