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September 14, 2016 04:10 PM

Today is Hug Your Hound Day! And we want to give Larry a big squeeze.

This rescue pup adores being the center of attention at his Virginia home, but Larry’s life wasn’t always so comfortable.

His story, which he shared in this heart-wrenching video from PETA, started in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, where he was ditched by his original owners. Neighbors took on the pup, but didn’t care much for the responsibility of pet ownership. Larry was confined to a tiny mesh cage, where he had to live alone alongside his own waste. Stuck in these horrible conditions, Larry got worms, infections from his nails growing into his paws, and a coat so filthy it was hard to tell he was a dog at all.

Thankfully, two PETA employees managed to spot the neglected canine during a straw delivery run. Larry’s current owners were happy to surrender the pup to PETA, who immediately took him to be groomed and checked over by a vet. Tests showed that under all that dirt, Larry was a shih-tzu who was frail, anemic, infested with hookworms and suffering through an eye, ear and foot infection simultaneously.

After heavy doses of TLC and medical attention, Larry stopped moping and sleeping and started to let his true personality shine. Turns out, he is pretty darn charming and cute. A staff member at PETA’s Sam Simon Center in Norfolk, Virginia, fell in love with the pup and brought him home to be her “only child.”

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