Emerson shelter dog rescued(DOGS/ANIMAL RESCUE) The number one reason most households choose not to adopt a dog is due to negative misconceptions of shelter pets.

Meet Emerson—a dog who was abused and neglected for a number of years—whose tail of hope undoubtedly proves that despite popular belief, shelter dogs are not broken.

The Papillion/Pomeranian mix would occasionally run away from his unhappy home and end up at the shelter, only to be picked up by his guardians and brought back to their home. But the final time he ran away and wound up at the Los Angeles shelter, he was just left there.

Given his condition, the odds of adoption were very slim for Emerson since dogs who are ill or injured are usually separated from the other dogs, out of view from the public. His future looked bleak until Annie Hart from the Bill Foundation came to the rescue and completely rehabilitated the pooch. He was groomed and eventually underwent surgery in which he lost his front leg—but he didn’t lose his love for life!

Emerson’s life of suffering and misery has finally come to an end and he is currently in a loving home with his new pet parent, Michaela—an undeniable animal lover who simply looked into his sad eyes and said, “I just knew that was my dog.”

Thanks to Annie and Michaela, Emerson has been given a new leash on life. Not unlike the abused dogs from Michael Vick‘s underground dogfighting operation, Emerson’s survival story reminds us that no animal is beyond hope.

Watch Emerson’s amazing transformation in the video below.

— Alisa Manzelli, exclusive to Global Animal