A four-year-old Pitbull, named Russ, was brought to a shelter as a stray in awful shape. He was extremely emaciated, weighing just 40 pounds, and he was missing fur on his tail and ears.

Because he already knew basic commands such as sit, down and stay, shelter staff suspected that he used to belong to someone. While it’s unknown how he became a stray, staff knew it was time to give him some much-needed TLC.

Despite his jagged appearance, Russ was a very friendly and affectionate dog. He was just waiting for a family to notice him and adopt him, so he could share that love with them.

That’s when 20-year-old Kayla Filoon saw Russ and fell in love with him at first sight. She walked him for 45 minutes, and he had already felt so comfortable with her, cuddling and being very loving. He was such a good pup and never barked at the other dogs, even when they barked at him first.

Filoon knew she couldn’t possibly leave without saving Russ. The shelter had recently euthanized nearly 15 dogs because it was so overcrowded. Filoon feared that Russ could be next on that list. She called her mom and told her about Russ and how she needed to adopt him.

The next day, she returned to the shelter and took Russ for a car ride. As soon as they got back, she filled out the adoption papers and took him home that same night.

It didn’t take Russ long to get used to his new home and his new life. He adored his new mom, just as much as she adored him. He always has to be right near her and never wants to leave her side.

“One night I’m sitting there on the chair, doing my homework, and he’s trying to find ways to cuddle with me,” Filoon told The Dodo. “There was a whole other sofa open, and we had his bed on the floor, but he didn’t want to lie anywhere else. So he ends up positioning himself, and I look down, and I think, ‘Oh my gosh, look at him.’”

Filoon’s aunt took a picture of this sweet moment and posted it on Facebook, where it quickly went viral. Filoon hopes the photo will encourage others to adopt shelter dogs.