INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Dark hair, dark eyes, handsome and mysterious - these are all traits that have stolen the hearts of women since the beginning of time.
"He's really fun and cuddly and compassionate and very loyal to us, so he's good to have," said Laura Walker, an Independence resident.
When Walker walked into the Independence Animal Shelter back in June, she knew she needed a new companion. What she didn't know what that her new friend needed her just as much.
"I have adopted before from a shelter and have had really good - you get good dogs out of them," she said. "They're just as good as a breeder would be. I don't see any reason for me to have a full bred dog, so why not adopt a dog who doesn't have a home?"
Walker spotted Switch, who'd been at the shelter for more than six months, due to his calm, gentle demeanor. It was only after she decided they were a good match that she learned about his story of abuse, neglect and near death.
"It just makes everything real to know that there's animals out there who go through this and they're not as lucky as him. So, I wanted to give him the home even more after I found out his story," said Walker.
That's when Walker decided if he were going to get a new life, he'd also need a new name.
"Apollo is the Greek God of healing, so since Apollo went through all he's gone through, it just seemed really fitting for him to be named Apollo," Walker said.
While Apollo's journey to healing isn't over -- he still has some behavioral and trust issues -- Walker said she's there for the long haul - to help him become whole again with a little compassion and a lot of love.
While Apollo's specific story is unique to him, stories of abuse and neglect are all too common in our local animal shelters. To rescue an animal in your area, visit Pet Finders, an online site that can help you find the perfect pet for you and your family. You can narrow the search my breed, sex, location and age.