TONEY, Ala. - While a trial for the former Lawrence County Animal Services Director started on Monday morning, one of her victims spent another peaceful morning in the arms of a loving family.
You won't find another dog in all of Madison County who's as loved as "Princess Puni."
"She gets the run of the house," Owner Shayne Breeden said. "She's the boss."
But it wasn't always this way because she didn't always belong to Breeden and Camile Bazar.
"I understand the woman had a stressful job, there's a lot of dogs there, obviously she was aware the conditions aren't ideal," Breeden said. "I imagine there was a lot of frustration. I'm not trying to justify it."
Breeden's talking about former Lawrence County Animal Services Director Bobbie Taylor. She's charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty and one count of animal abuse for allegedly harming more than 250 animals in her care.
In our 2015 coverage, WHNT News 19 showed a video of a woman hitting a dog. The video was shown to us by a former volunteer. That video played a large role in ending a dire situation for so many cats and dogs.
"He saved them," Bazar said.
The video ignited an investigation in Lawrence County's shelter. The footage also sparked this story on the day Taylor heads to trial. Breeden and Bazar noticed something in our report that struck a nerve.
"When they first showed it and she's got the ear down and the crease right here, it was like holy smoke, that is her," Breeden explained.
"She has the same broken tail, the same scars on her ear," Bazar added.
These days Puni doesn't worry about someone hitting her. She's no longer starving for food nor attention.
"We just want everybody to know, she's doing good," Bazar said. "She started off rough but she's got a good home now. I hope the other animals have the same."
Puni did need affection when she came to her new home. But, her family says it wasn't any match for the love they received in return. Puni's adopters say they encourage everyone to take home a shelter pet.
They have four rescued dogs and add they couldn't be happier with their pack.