COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Persephone, a dog up for adoption at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, has some special needs but also a lot of love once she opens up.

The pit bull mix has come a long way from when she was found as a stray in October 2021. Her foster mom, Maria Onest, said that Persephone had to unlearn a lot of behaviors that she developed, most likely to protect herself on the street. Fast forward to today, and while she still takes time to warm up to new people, shows her big heart once she gets to know them.

“Once you are in, she will be all cuddles and wiggles,” Onest said.

Persephone. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)

Persephone is also a remarkably intelligent dog, according to her foster mom. She knows tricks including sit, down, crawl, dance, and shake. Onest’s favorite is when she says “boop,” Persephone will give her a kiss on her nose.

Persephone’s quick learning during training — handled in part with All Paws Retreat — was thanks in part to her major motivation with treats and food.

“She’s a big fan of carrots, the baby carrots or even a big carrot,” Onest said. “She likes ice, so I’ve tried to make her some frozen treats with apples, carrots, yogurt, blueberries. You can find lots of recipes on the Google machine.”

The pit bull also enjoys playing with toys, particularly stuffed ones. However, in what Onest calls “true pittie fashion,” Persephone can eventually tear the stuffed toys while playing with them, so they may need to be repaired or replaced.

“Patience is very important with her,” Onest said. “Even sometimes on walks when she can sometimes get a little overwhelmed.”

Onest said Persephone would best go to an owner who has experience with dogs. There shouldn’t be any cats or other small animals there, but a calm and confident dog could get along well with Persephone and help build her trust.

Once she has that trust in her owner, Persephone’s foster mom said she is a very affectionate dog.

“Some of my favorite moments are when she comes and wants to cuddle with me before bed because she’ll kind of paw at the sheets just like my previous dog did … There is no safer feeling than being able to cuddle with your dog,” Onest said.

Persephone is available for a coordinated meet-and-greet at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, located at 4340 Tamarack Blvd. in Columbus. Below are some additional dogs up for adoption as well:

Dawson. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)


  • Brindle and white pit bull mix
  • 3-year-old male
  • OK with dogs, shelter favorite and constant companion ratings from FCDS
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Theo. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)


  • Brown pit bull and mastiff mix
  • 1-year-old male
  • Housebroken and go-getter ratings from FCDS
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Pippin Fots. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)

Pippin Fots

  • Brown and white large breed mix
  • 5-year-old male
  • Housebroken, couch potato and free spirit ratings from FCDS
  • Up to date on shots
  • Eligible for foster
Wicket W. Warrick. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)

Wicket W. Warrick

  • Brown small breed mix
  • Male of unknown age
  • OK with dogs, wallflower and shy dog ratings from FCDS
  • Up to date on shots