MONTGOMERY, AL (WTVM) – With millions of animals across the country in shelters in need of forever homes, an animal with a special look can take potential adopters by surprise.
"ATTENTION EVERYONE," the post on the group's Facebook page begins. "My name is Layla and I need a very special adopter! The reason I need a 'special adopter' is because I look a little bit different from other dogs."
Layla has a jaw deformity, and her tongue hangs adorably from her mouth.
"Sometimes when I have been out in public, some other dogs would laugh at me or make fun of me and that made me sad and insecure. People sometimes did the same thing. I need an owner that will stand up for me and not let others tease or bully me," the post said.
Kim Crumpler, the Montgomery Humane Society Animal Operations Manager, said that she was found in Montgomery by animal control, and her appearance took her by surprise.
"The biggest thing is the first time we got her in, we were afraid of her," Crumpler said. "With the jaw deformity and her tongue we didn't know how to take her."
But Crumpler said Layla, a cute gal with a low bark, warmed up to everyone around her and connected with an employee during playtime.
"She is just a ball of sugar," Crumpler said. "After a few days, she warmed up to us and we warmed up to her. She is a great dog."
Layla is described as an 18-month-old "Heinz 57" that's been at the shelter for two months, loves other dogs and is people-friendly; Layla is also spayed and micro-chipped, per the Humane Society's policies.
Layla's photographer, Diana Bunch of Pet Pawtography, has been taking pictures for the group for four years. Bunch takes the pictures for free, allowing the more than five groups utilizing her skills to use the pictures however they want to help adopt the animals.
She said her love of animal photography began with a small project about the life of a dog who was picked up on the street.
Through that time, she and the shelters began a process of giving them animals the super model treatment with exclusive photoshoots to showcase their adoptability.
Bunch said Layla is "so sweet" and during her interactions with her, she nudged her and just wants the love and attention of a loving family.
Her work, Bunch said, is also featured as a part of a larger organization called HeARTsSpeak, a nationwide organization that allows artists and photographers to help humane organizations adopt their pets.
To learn more about how you can adopt Layla and give her a forever home, click here.