MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Princeton animal rescue is looking for a home for one special dog.

Ruff Start Rescue founder Azure Davis said when she saw the pictures of a little dog in Alabama, she could not resist helping.

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“She was found wandering by a veterinary technician who knew immediately something was wrong because she didn’t have any fur,” Davis said.

Davis named the dog Jayla.

To the best of her knowledge, Jayla is about one year old and some sort of boxer mix.

“There was never any owner found. They weren’t sure what her history was there,” Davis said.

But it was clear the dog needed help.

Melissa Kubiszewski is one of 220 foster parents throughout Minnesota working with Ruff Start rescue.

“She is a very sweet girl,” Kubiszewksi said. “Even with what she’s been through she still loves humans.”

Jayla was suffering from heartworm, malnutrition and mange, a skin disease caused by tiny mites.

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None of the conditions are contagious, but Davis said the cost of care can mean dogs that are really sick get turned away from shelters and rescues.

Davis said the dog’s new life is a tribute to another life lost too soon.

“We wanted to have a dog that we can show that is a healthy dog that’s coming back from being in an unfortunate situation in her honor,” Davis said.

The dog is named after Jayla Rodriguez, an 8-year-old girl who was killed by a pack of dogs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in November of 2014.

Davis said the girl’s family has shown incredible grace, focusing their energy on opening an animal shelter in Jayla’s memory instead of harboring ill will toward stray animals.

That kind spirit even in the hardest times is what reminded Davis of this little dog.

Davis said she is always in need of more foster parents for animals.

Davis said once Jayla is completely healthy in a few months, she will be available for adoption.

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Click here for more information on adopting Jayla, and click here for more information on how to volunteer at Ruff Start Rescue.