The timid Lab-chow mix needs a patient owner to help her adjust to life outside of an animal shelter

By Amy Jamieson
Updated August 11, 2011 07:00 PM

Home. Some cats and dogs never have one to call their own. We want to change that by introducing you to an extraordinary homeless pet every week. Today, we’d like you to meet Sophie, a 1-year-old female dog who’s bashful when all eyes are on her.

Peer into Sophie’s pen at the Humane Society of York County in Fort Mill, S.C., and see a fearful face. The 45-lb. black dog, who was born at the shelter, doesn’t know life outside the facility’s walls and is unsure about anyone she doesn’t know.

“With her shyness, it kind of turns people the other way,” says shelter staffer, Lori Criminger, who adds that people often overlook Sophie because of her black color (a.k.a. Black Dog Syndrome). “And with the economy the way it is, people are looking for smaller dogs.”

Given the chance to warm-up, the Lab-chow mix is friendly and loves being with other canines, including her best pal, Molly, a Lab-rottweiler mix. When volunteers take Sophie for trips to nearby Lake Wylie, she’s really in her element. “She splashes around,” says Criminger. “She plays along the beach strip with other dogs.”

Sophie needs an owner with patience to help her blossom into a confident, fearless canine. “Sophie is good with people, but she really needs to get into a home environment,” she says.

If you want to help sweet Sophie show her true colors, contact the Humane Society of York County at (803)802-0902.

Founded in 1976, the HSYC shelter is a safe haven for homeless animals in Fort Mill and surrounding areas. The shelter plans to relocate to a new, more efficient building this year, click here to learn how you can help fund their costly move.

And click here to meet last week’s adoptable pet, Alan Jackson.