By Kim Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of dogs and cats have been finding their forever homes thanks to a WCCO weekly segment.

Over the last 25 years, animals up for adoption have been featured on Friday’s Pet of the Week. As many as 1,400 have found their new family after being seen on the WCCO 4 News at Noon show.

Every week dogs, cats, rabbits and even guinea pigs put on their best for their TV debut. Sometimes they’re a little camera shy. Sometimes a little scared. Or chatty. Often they crawl on the furniture. And many come in costume.

But all of them come to our couch in need of the same thing: a home.

Dixie has been in her new home for about a year now. Her owner saw her on WCCO and had to have her.

“I came home for lunch and I always watch Channel 4 News,” Steve Nerheim said. “She has that basset hound look to her, so she’s a little bow legged in front.”

The bow-legged girl has made herself at home.

Tracy Torgerson feels lucky to have Bandit after his appearance on the show.

“Ironically, there were several people that had come after us to see him,” she said. “He was so cute no wonder all those people were coming to see him.”

Often, that is the case.

“We often have a line at our door waiting for us to open, we’ll also get phone calls seeing if that animal is still available or if they can come in a see it,” said Liv Haugen, of the Animal Humane Society.

WCCO viewers flocked to the Animal Humane Society hoping to take kittens home that were featured on the show.

“We had people breaking down the door for those kittens,” Haugen said.

The humane society says it depends on the exposure to make sure all their animals find homes.

“Pet of the Week is so important to the Animal Humane Society,” Haugen said. “We are thrilled to have a 100 percent success rate with our Pet of the Week participants.”

For Torgerson, adoption is the only option.

“These animals, they have nowhere to go,” she said. “We just love to adopt them.”

Kim Johnson

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