Geri Cochran says she picks up every stray dog she sees because she can't bear to see homeless dogs wandering around.
"Scruffy" was one of those dogs fortunate enough to be found by Geri and her husband, Sam Cochran. The couple took him home and listed him on the Lost and Found Cats and Dogs of Tyler, TX Facebook page.
"I found him on my way to work," Sam Cochran, of Palestine, said. "We brought him home and posted his picture and information. There was no response, so we worked with Nicholas Pet Haven to put him up for adoption."
But making strays adoptable takes a little more than picking them up and delivering them to a shelter. Scruffy came by his name honestly. He'd need some work if he was going to woo a family into taking him home.
That's where the Snobby Dog Spaw of Tyler comes in. Groomers there work with Nicholas Pet Haven - volunteering their time and supplies - to give their pups makeovers, making them ready for adoption.
"I wanted to help because most of us here at Snobby Dog Spaw have rescue dogs," Ava Knight, partner at Snobby Dog Spaw, said. "It's a way for us to give back and get the dogs who have been left behind or abandoned to start feeling better."
Cindy Nash, founder and president of Nicholas Pet Haven, said dogs develop many issues when they are lost or abandoned on the street.
"Stray dogs come to Nicholas Pet Haven in some very bad conditions," she said. "We arrange for their shots and do an initial bath to get fleas off of them. Whenever a dog comes into our program, we call Ava at Snobby Dog and get them groomed within 24 hours."
The grooming usually requires the dog to be shaved or hair trimmed, have a bath, get blow-dried and toenails clipped. The treatment goes a long way, beyond improving the dog's looks.
"Some are scared and nervous," Ms. Knight said. "Once they get washed and dried, they seem to relax and get comfortable. It's like the stress of being on their own is gone and they feel safe."
Nicholas Pet Haven was able to find him a potential owner. The Cochrans were notified to bring Scruffy to meet the interested family just one day after his grooming at Snobby Dog Spaw.