Kyle Moore and his wife, Janet, drove several hours to Boise last weekend to adopt a dog.
They'd seen media coverage of the rescue of more than 60 pit bulls from an Oneida County dogfighting operation. The dogs' plight came to light in early April, when three people were found murdered at the remote ranch where the dog-fighting took place.
The Idaho Humane Society took over the care of the dogs. They brought in the Oakland-based pit bull rescue group Bad Rap to evaluate the dogs.
Twelve dogs were euthanized after the evaluations; a dozen dogs were flown out to other rescue organizations. The Moores were the first to adopt one of the dogs still in Boise, and shelter officials hope more will follow soon.
Shelter officials have received hate mail for their efforts to rescue the pit bulls, so they advised the Moores not to publicly reveal where they live. They agreed to let their names be printed.
The Moores know a lot about pit bulls because they owned one for 12 years. Their family dog, Mia - who was so easy-going that she allowed one of Moores' grandchildren to draw on her with markers - died six months ago. They weren't sure they would get another dog.
But they felt moved by the story of the Oneida County pit bulls. They made the trek to the Idaho Humane Society on Sunday to meet several dogs.
Shelter staff had picked out three young females for them to look at. But they ended up spending the entire day meeting about a dozen dogs.
The dog that won their hearts wasn't one of the three young pups. They took home a nearly 2-year-old dark tan female with brown eyes and white markings on her head, chest and paws.
"She was friendly, and just made a connection with us," Kyle Moore said.
Tess, who weighs about 25 pounds, has had pups. If she was anxious about traveling to a new home with strangers, she didn't show it.
Except for water and bathroom breaks, she slept most of the ride home.
Tess spent the first day or so in her new home sniffing every corner.
"She's settled down now to just being pretty much a companion," he said. "She's right at our feet, wherever we go. She sticks right with us."
Her favorite pastimes are chasing tennis balls and eating peanut butter. At night, she sleeps in a crate in the couple's room.
One of the biggest concerns about dogs rescued from dogfighting operations is aggression toward other animals.
The Moores live in a rural area, but they are keeping Tess on a leash. They introduced her to their daughter's two 6-month-old puppies, also pit bulls.
"They got along pretty good," Moore said.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413