There are millions of homeless animals in U.S. shelters, and each one of them wakes up every morning hoping that today will be their lucky day. For Russ the Pit Bull, that day finally came.

Kayla Filoon is a 20-year-old student who volunteers as a dog walker at her local animal shelter. She saw Russ and they had an instant connection, but she knew she needed to act fast to save him. At that time, the shelter recently had to put 15 dogs to sleep. Pit Bulls have a euthanasia rate of 93 percent in shelters, due to unfair stereotypes against them. Although they are just as capable of being great companions as any other dog, many think they are innately aggressive because they are commonly abused as fighting dogs.

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“He came in as a stray, and he was really beat up. He was missing fur on his tail and ears. He was also terribly skinny.” Kayla said. She went to she shelter the very next day and filled out all of the adoption paperwork … and just like that, Russ has a forever home!

Russ wanted to show how grateful he is to his new mom by cuddling with her. “One night I’m sitting there on the chair, doing my homework, and he’s trying to find ways to cuddle with me,” Kayla said. How sweet is this!?

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The cute photo was shared on Facebook in hopes that it will inspire others to adopt. So far, the post has over 57,000 shares, so it seems like Russ and Kayla’s tender moment has touched many. We also hope this photo helps to dispel the myths surrounding

We also hope this photo helps to dispel the myths surrounding Pit Bulls. Years ago, Pit Bulls were considered “Nanny dogs” because of their loyalty and gentleness toward their guardians. They were also once an American favorite, earning the title “America’s dog.” Unfortunately, people soon found ways to exploit Pit Bulls’ behaviors and tendencies for dog fights, and their strong appearance became a symbol of violence, drug culture, and gangs.

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We are so happy Russ and his new Mom found each other! If you’re feeling inspired, you can make a difference in the lives of homeless animals simply by volunteering at your local animal shelter. And please, always adopt and never shop!

Image Source: Jamie Holt/Facebook