Rescue centre staff are hopeful a pack of dogs that were found roaming around southern Scotland will soon be able to find forever homes.
The six dogs were rounded up near Moffat back in July after four others were shot dead by a farmer following a fatal sheep attack.
The animals – four boys and two girls – were taken into the care of Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre (DGCRC).
DGCRC’s Emma Scott said the team are “delighted” with the progress the strays are making.
She said: “The two girls are by far the most confident. They have become happy, relaxed, friendly dogs.
“It’s so nice to see them actively seek us out and come to us for affection when only two months ago they were terrified of all human contact.”
The girls will most likely go up for adoption first – hopefully soon.
Ms Scott added: “All four of the boys have proven to be slightly more of a challenge when it comes to handling.
“Three of them now walk well on the lead – which is a huge improvement in itself – but are still slightly wary of us and need more time to build confidence.
“One boy in particular still can’t be walked on the lead but we are working hard on helping him relax and are hopeful we can get through to him.”
The dogs have been given names with a Moffat connection. The girls are called Charlotte and Toffee, while the boys have been christened Brodie, Glen, Meadow and Rae.
The girls are said to be very “cheeky and playful”.
Ms Scott said: “They love a fuss made and have been walking alongside some of our other dogs.
“They really enjoy off-lead play together and it is becoming clear just how incredibly intelligent they are.”
Rae and Meadow are the most confident out of the boys and love going on walks together, while Brodie and Glen will need more time to come out of their shells.
Ms Scott added: “Glen is still very shy, especially when going on solo walks with a member of staff.
“He appears to be a gentle, quiet soul, but when he is with Brodie he gains a little more confidence.”
The team have so far been unable to get Brodie on a lead for walks.
Ms Scott said: “He really enjoys playing on the grass and using our mental stimulation toys. He too is incredibly intelligent and needs to be kept busy.
“As he is still quite scared of handling, it could take some time to get through to him.”
The staff have been spending quiet time with the dogs in their kennels and have been getting them into a routine to help them to relax as they know what to expect each day.
Ms Scott added: “We also are making sure that every human experience from now on is a positive one.
“They had clearly absolutely no happy experience with humans on arrival so it’s our job to help show them we can be trusted.”
The dogs are believed to have been abandoned in the area, possibly by illegal breeders.
Police Scotland said enquiries “remain ongoing”.
Following the incident, members of the public rallied to raise thousands of pounds to help with the care of the animals.
Ms Scott said the team were “overwhelmed” by their generosity, especially given the cost of living crisis.
She added: “As a charity with no government funding we depend entirely on donations from the public, so they are always gratefully received.”
Ms Scott highlighted that there are many other animals in the centre’s care who are also “desperately seeking fresh starts”.
She added: “If you are considering a new family member, please look into rescue.
“There are so many wonderful little dogs needing help.”