July 14, 2011 07:45 PM

Home. Some cats and dogs never have one to call their own. We’d like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary homeless pet every week. Today, we’d like you to meet Sammie, an overweight senior dog who needs a transformation of Biggest Loser proportions.

This chubby miniature poodle was surrendered to Pet Helpers adoption center in Charleston, South Carolina, last year by owners who could no longer afford to take care of him. He weighed an unhealthy 20 lbs., his hair was matted, and he was in the beginning stages of congestive heart disease.

In December, it seemed like he was on the road to a better life when the shelter cleaned him up and he was adopted. Unfortunately, his dream of a forever home was short-lived: he was returned a few months later because his owners said he was a biter. But soon after, a vet figured out what was really going on: the 10-year-old dog’s infected eye was causing excruciating pain and it had to be removed.

Though vision in his remaining eye isn’t perfect, Sammie is much happier now – and hoping for a second chance at a loving home. Until then, he’s keeping himself busy as an office worker at the shelter.

“He completely turned around when we got that eye out,” says customer relations manager Keegan Spera. “He loves people, he’s my little desk buddy, he follows me everywhere and he starts to bark if he can’t see me.”

Sammie’s congestive heart disease is in check now, too. But he needs an active owner (preferably without young children) who will give him to plenty of exercise. “He’s a chunker,” says Spera. “He needs someone who will try to get weight off with lots of short walks that will keep him healthy.”

Despite not being able to see very well, Sammie is great with other animals after he’s been given a chance to smell and hear them. “He’s good with other dogs once he establishes himself,” she says.

If you want to make sweet Sammie your next project, contact the Pet Helpers via email at office@pethelpers.org, or stop by the shelter for a visit.

Established in 1976, Pet Helpers is an adoption center and safe haven for unwanted animals that offers high quality, low-cost spay/neutering. Visit their website to donate funds which pay for the care of pets with special needs, medical and behavioral problems, as well as supports their spay/neuter program.

Click here to see last week’s adoptable pet, Indira.

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