Rescued from filthy conditions with more than 70 other dogs, Huck now has a forever home and some furry siblings.
reddish brown pit bull mixed that was rescued from a hoarding situation
Credit: Courtesy of the Bissell Pet Foundation

Huck's story doesn't have a happy beginning, but after this pit bull mix was rescued from appalling, dirty conditions, he overcame his fear to become a sweet pup who loves a good lap for cuddling.

Back in February, he was rescued from a hoarding situation with more than 70 other dogs in Florida, where he had been living in filthy, crowded conditions. Santa Rosa County Animal Services handled the initial rescue but it needed a hand from other rescues given the large quantity of dogs who needed shelter. That's how Huck ended up at Citrus County Animal Services.

When he arrived at the shelter, the amber-colored pup was so afraid he wouldn't walk, but despite his fear, he was still a loving, sweet boy.

"He was terrified," Colleen Yarbrough, the director of animal services in Citrus County, tells Daily Paws. "But all he wanted to do was crawl into your lap and melt into you."

The shelter volunteers worked hard to get him out of his shell and made sure he felt safe in his temporary home. They introduced him to confident, self-assured dogs and crawled beside him to show it was safe to move around. With their love and assurance, it wasn't long before Huck realized he was safe, loved, and able to be himself.

"Literally overnight, Huck was like, 'I got this, I can be a dog now. I am safe, and I can be your best friend!'" Yarbrough says.

Luckily, Huck didn't have long to wait to show off his true self to potential adopters—Huck arrived at the shelter Feb. 23 and Pamela Rice adopted him three days later. Rice and her fiancé had been looking for another dog, so when they heard about the Bissell Pet Foundation's Empty the Shelters adoption event, she decided to go. Though she was initially planning on adopting a smaller dog, she was smitten the moment she saw Huck.

"I met Huck, and the rest is history," Rice tells Daily Paws. "I was instantly drawn to him. He stuck by my side the whole time, so I knew he was my boy."

Rice is no stranger to adopting animals—Huck now has two furry siblings named Underfoot and Beau. She says Huck was very nervous at first, seeming like he didn't know what to expect and unsure if he was finally at his forever home. But with the help of his loving new family and fur siblings, he found his footing quickly. These days, Huck spends his time playing with Underfoot and Beau and soaking up the attention Rice showers on him.

"He's perfect," Rice says. "He's so chill—he's good as long as you're giving food and hugs and kisses."

Huck and 45 other dogs and cats were adopted during the five-day Empty the Shelters event. And in Huck's case, it sounds like his new mom couldn't be happier with her decision.

"Adopt, adopt, adopt!" Rice says. "There's nothing better than a dog that knows that you saved him."