Courtesy of Almost Home Animal Rescue

This Smiling Pit Bull Was Chained to a Fence for the First Year of His Life

It's Pet Appreciation Week, and we're giving away $5,000!One lucky pet owner will get to spoil her furry companion—plus, we'll donate another $5,000 to Almost Home Animal Rescue, to support their efforts to rescue and re-home abandoned animals.Click here to enter for your chance to win!

A lonely and neglected pit bull got a new lease on life thanks to volunteers at Almost Home Animal Rescue.

This poor pup spent the first year of his life attached to heavy chain in a filthy backyard. Sheeran, as he's now called, was left vulnerable to other animals in the neighborhood and forced to survive with very little food, water, or shelter. It took many months and many dedicated dog lovers to finally to rescue Sheeran from the awful environment.

dog chained to fence in yard

Courtesy of Almost Home Animal Rescue

After that long first year, Sheeran was brought to Almost Home. He spent several weeks in the kennels there, where he remained a happy and social puppy—even after everything he'd been through.

"When I met Sheeran through Almost Home, I instantly fell in love," one volunteer tells "I began to foster him and provided him with a safe and structured environment."

It didn't take long for Sheeran to adapt to his happy new world. He lived with his foster parent's two dogs and was eager to learn from them as he adjusted to life as a family dog. (Plus, he got built-in playmates!) Most importantly, Sheeran learned what it's like to love and be loved unconditionally.

After a few months, this very good boy found his forever home with "an amazing couple" that continues to teach him manners in their loving home. He shows his gratitude with lots of tail wags, and by being a loyal and protective little brother to his new sister. If there was any doubt that Sheeran loves life, his before-and-after adoption photos make it clear!

READ MORE: Popular Dog Breeds to Adopt From Your Local Shelter