COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — It doesn’t take but a second to fall in love with Nelson, a medium-sized golden dog with a gentle, joyful spirit.

At first, you can’t help but notice his severely deformed back legs and difficulty walking. But, then, your focus is drawn to his warm, brown eyes, soft smile, nonstop wagging tail, and tender personality, who loves people and animals.

Nelson is entirely lovable. So lovable, you’re left wondering how someone could dump such a creature in a ditch and leave him for dead. But that’s precisely what someone did to Nelson. Monday, Animal Ark in Columbus got a call from Animal Control. An officer found the emaciated puppy and knew Animal Ark Resuce was his best hope for survival.

“Paige sent me a video, and I was like, oh my God, bring that baby with you,” said Sabine Stull, founder and director of Animal Ark Rescue.

Nelson is now safe. He’s fed, sheltered and adored. His back leg pain is being managed by medication. Plus, after vet visits and consultations, there is a plan to try and give Nelson the life he deserves through amputation and a wheelchair. On the small side, Stull says Nelson is less than a year old, and almost all animals do remarkably well with a wheelchair.

“After consulting with multiple vets, we all agreed, including Auburn, that this is probably the best course of action. The fastest way of relieving his pain and the least invasive, even though he will lose his legs. They are not usable for him, and it’s painful. But, he will recover faster with this than attempting several surgeries. He can then be outfitted with a wheelchair, and we can train him how to get mobile with it and hopefully find him a wonderful home who will open their hearts and their doors to him,” Stull said.

Nelson’s surgery and recovery will be a lengthy and expensive process. Thankfully, Nelson has an entire community of supporters after Animal Ark shared a video of the sweet pup and story on their Facebook Page.

“We have raised a couple of thousands of dollars, so I can say for sure his surgery will be covered, and hopefully we can find a company who will donate a wheelchair to him; that would be great,” said Stull.

In a world where individuals dump helpless animals every day, it’s nice to know there are more compassionate humans willing to donate what they can to help an animal they may never meet.

For more information on how you can support Animal Ark, or if you can donate a wheelchair or would like to be considered as Nelson’s adoptive family, please visit their website: Animal Ark Rescue.