Assignment America: Ella, lost dog

Over the last 20 years, The Love Me Tender animal rescue in central Tennessee has rounded-up more than a thousand abandoned dogs. And although most are timid and untrusting, recently a volunteer couldn't help but notice when one dog shattered the mold.

"I could just tell right away she was somebody's baby," said Kathy Wilkes Meyers. "She just didn't act like a stray dog to me."

Myers found the dog a few months ago. It was emaciated and drinking from a drainage ditch along an empty stretch of highway about 30 miles south of Nashville.

Kathy says it's typical for people to dump unwanted pets in the middle of nowhere like that – but again, the dog's demeanor convinced her there was more to the story.

So she did some detective work and eventually found out what really happened to this dog.

It's an amazing story that will surely bring tears to even the most grizzled animal rescue worker.

Be sure to check out our story tonight on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.