Old dog was distrusting after being abandoned—but watch when rescuers show him some love, aww!

We always hope that the pets families adopt have found their forever homes.

Sometimes, though, outside circumstances leave families in a position where it becomes difficult (or even impossible) to keep their four-legged friends. And while the hope is always that they will look for a safe place to leave their pet, some families fail to do this.

Hope For Paws, the Southern California-based rescue organization that helps abandoned dogs find new forever homes, received a call about one of these in November.

The giant, aging dog had been left by his owners when they moved away, and neighbors had been trying to feed him for nearly a year by the time Hope For Paws came to take him home.

Although the neighbors had done their best, the year on the street—with a strong sense of abandonment and little in the way of true shelter or security—had left the over-sized canine, dubbed Pumba by the rescuers, incredibly distrustful of humans.

Led by organization volunteers JoAnn Wiltz and Lisa Arturo, the Hope For Paws team attempted to coax Pumba to approach them by using cheeseburgers and gentle voices.

But despite his hunger, the terrified dog refused to get any closer—and it took plenty of time and patience for him to grow used to the two women, enabling them to load him up and bring him to the hospital for some veterinary TLC.

Happy with his new situation, Pumba was placed in a foster home while the organization sought out a new forever home. It isn’t easy, given his age; the fact that he’d been left alone as a senior dog was absolutely heartbreaking.

Thanks to his rescuers, though, he’s hopefully headed for a much happier chapter in his life now and his smile says it all!

Source: ©Facebook Video Screenshot | Hope For Paws