Once homeless couple gives dog a loving home

James and Marilyn Connelly with their new companion.

COLUMBUS, Ga.- 2015 was a big year for Paws Humane. Close to 300 more cats and dogs were adopted this year compared to last year. More than 7,000 spay and neuter surgeries were done, 400 dogs were given free rabies vaccinations during their Pets for Life event, 1,200 animals (companion animals) got their shots annual shots and many more accolades.

Tuesday, another dog was adopted by a family who knows the struggles of not having a home.

That dog is Lyla, a two-year-old hound mix. She came to Paws in December of 2013, but has been returned three times (owner’s moving twice and as a stray).

Lyla, the high energy, loving hound mix.
Lyla, the high energy, loving hound mix.

Her combined time in the shelter equaled 260 days, but she kept waiting to find that right home.

The family who adopted Lyla: James and Marilyn Connelly. They came to Columbus in July. They had enough gas money to make it to the Fountain City along with rent money but not enough for the deposits on a home. This forced them to living in a tent off Victory Drive.

James and Marilyn Connelly with their new companion.
James and Marilyn Connelly with their new companion.

Marilyn said it was a terrifying experience. They said each time it rained, “it was like sleeping on the Titanic.”

James, a veteran, says they would always stay positive and keep the hope for finding a home. That hope paid off in November when they were able to get a home. Being back on their feet gave them a new lease on on life, along with being able to lock their doors. “For her and I to be able and go off and eat someplace together instead of one of us staying behind because where we were staying, there was a lot of heavy drug and beer usage,” the Connelly’s said. “Anytime we took off, we didn’t know if any of our stuff was going to get sold so they can get their drugs.”

Once the paperwork was completed, the Connelly’s spoiled Lyla with a new leash, collar and other treats.

They left Paws and made their way to home, sharing a common bond. “If anyone’s ever been homeless and everybody turns their back,” the Connelly’s said. “You’ve been abandoned and relating to that on how we want to be treated, and giving her a chance to have a roof over her head to call home. A place to sleep securely. Having meals instead of wondering where your next meal is going to come from. It’s member of the family, not just a dog.”

 

 

 

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