Pet homelessness is a huge problem. In the United States, it’s estimated that there are about 70 million stray cats and dogs who have to fight every day just to survive. They don’t have anybody to provide them with clean bowls full of food and water, toys to play with, or love and cuddles. The few lucky ones who are rescued by compassionate humans are often mistrusting at first — a sign that points to bad experiences in their past. Yet, again and again, we are constantly amazed by how quickly dogs who have been forced into the worst circumstances learn that they can trust humans. We don’t know much about how Pepe, the little dog in the photo below, ended up living on the streets, but thanks to the tireless efforts of rescuers at Hope For Paws, he was saved

Pepe had been struck by a car. Injured and alone, he had a few reservations about the humans who showed up to try and rescue him.

Sweet Photo Captures the Moment a Scared, Homeless Dog Learned He Could Trust Humans

Myrna, one of the rescuers who showed up on the scene, attempted to coax Pepe over by getting close to the ground and offering him a taco, but even though he was hungry, he did not want to get close to a human.Sweet Photo Captures the Moment a Scared, Homeless Dog Learned He Could Trust Humans

Eventually, Pepe’s rescuers set up a trap, complete with the taco and a cozy blanket — and it worked! Pepe was caught. Sweet Photo Captures the Moment a Scared, Homeless Dog Learned He Could Trust Humans

Now safe and sound, Pepe slowly began to realize that these were humans he could trust. Just look at that happy face!

Sweet Photo Captures the Moment a Scared, Homeless Dog Learned He Could Trust Humans

Saved from living out his days on the streets, Pepe the dog cuddles up to Myrna.

Sweet Photo Captures the Moment a Scared, Homeless Dog Learned He Could Trust Humans

 

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After his rescue, Pepe was neutered, microchipped, groomed, and sent to be a foster dog at Hope Ranch Animal Sanctuary, a shelter whose mission is to take in animals that have been abused, neglected, or are at risk for euthanasia. This little guy is finally getting the fresh start that all dogs of his background deserve. We hope that he makes plenty of friends, dog and human alike, in his new home and that he eventually finds a forever home where he’ll never have to spend another night outdoors. If you’re considering welcoming a companion animal into your life, please always adopt and never shop. Dogs like Pepe may come with a little extra baggage, but as you can see in the photo, all they need is a little love.

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To learn more about Hope Ranch Animal Sanctuary, visit their official website.

Lead image source: Eldad Hagar/flickr

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