When Nikki Audet clicked the picture of a depressed shelter dog, she had no idea the dog would become an inspirational icon for millions of unwanted dogs around the world. The dog in the picture below is Nico, a deaf 6-year-old Dogo Argentino, and his journey out of an LA shelter is one of the most extraordinary stories we’ve ever encountered.

 

Source: Nico swan/Facebook

 

The picture was originally taken to attract potential adopters for Nico, who had a severely abusive past in a dog fighting ring and was deemed to be an “aggressive biter”. But the dog’s utter hopelessness and despair conveyed through this snapshot was enough to tug at the hearts of animal lovers everywhere. This picture resulted in Nico becoming the poster boy for undesirable homeless dogs.

 

Source: riverraven/YouTube

 

Nico’s rescue story began in a shelter. Just when he had totally given up on life, San Diego animal rescuer Kelly Gibson traveled to the shelter and pulled this defeated dog out of the kill list. She helped him get medical attention for his cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, and transferred him to a caring foster home in Indiana.

Nico made an amazing recovery and found his forever home with Bridget Swan and her warm family who happily embraced the handsome bi-color-eyed dog. Although Nico’s health struggles were far from over, his symbolic happy ending mirrored the story of a true underdog!

 

Source: Nico swan/Facebook

 

After spending several blissful years with his family, Nico’s cancer returned and his heath worsened. The dog eventually crossed the rainbow bridge to doggie heaven while being surrounded by people who loved him. Nico might not be with us now, but his legacy as a brave and resilient survivor will live on forever!

Click the video below to watch Nico’s touching story as he beat mounting odds to find his happy ending!