Before Thanksgiving last year, some staff and volunteers took a trip to Texas to visit our rescue partner Harris County Animal Shelter. No matter how much we know about what life is like for the animals down south, it is always shocking seeing it in person. There are countless animals there with their own stories, but there is one that we need you to know. His name is Diamond.

A young man was hobbling along the sidewalk, heaving this wire crate back and forth. Inside the crate was an exhausted dog, not more than a year old. You could see the fleas jump off of him. His skin was raw from the mange. He was utterly defeated and willing to accept his fate at the shelter.

We couldn’t leave him there. He was our Diamond in the Ruff.

Our partners at Harris County work tremendously hard to get the animals in their care into loving homes, but they are always over-capacity. And a dog like Diamond, with his health issues and training needs due to him living as a feral dog for his whole life, likely wouldn’t have made it out of there alive. They are stricken continuously with that painful decision.

From what we know, Diamond was roaming with a pack of dogs in the countryside in Texas. He struggled to find food, water, and a dry place to sleep. He never felt safe. It is clear to us that Diamond has never lived in a home or experienced love from a family. That all changed when we brought him to Minnesota.

He was placed in a loving foster home that gave him the time he needed to adjust to living indoors and trust that humans can be good. After months of patience, training (with treats, of course), and love, Diamond found his forever family.

There are hundreds of ‘Diamonds’ out there that need our help. We can save more of them with your help. If it’s in your means, please consider making a donation to Ruff Start Rescue this Giving Tuesday.