KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A couple of weeks ago, the Ulster County SPCA received a call about a dog found in a front yard under some bushes. Shelter employees said that the dog was in such bad shape that the callers didn’t know what sort of animal they’d found, at first.

Officials said the dog was significantly pelted; his fur so tight that it was stretching the skin over his skeletal frame. When they shaved him, shelter employees noticed just how emaciated and dehydrated he truly was. “This poor dog could not walk or even stand in this condition,” the workers said. “We soon realized he also could not see nor hear well.”

The dog was treated at the Animal Emergency Clinic in Kingston at first but required intensive care and had to be taken to Guardian Veterinary Specialists. He stayed there for the next week, receiving 24-hour specialty care.

Every test showed how imbalanced all of the dog’s systems were, and vets were concerned that he would have long-term organ damage or failure. But despite it all, the elderly pup survived. Employees said that when he returned to the shelter from clinic, the dog was still so wobbly he needed help standing. But as each day progressed, he improved.

“We’re so happy to report that our little grandpa is now getting up on his own and ruling the roost at reception,” shelter officials exclaimed. “He still bumps into things, but he has learned where things are—especially the baby gates—and navigates the area like a pro.”

Paying homage to Subaru’s recent “Make a Dog’s Day” event for underdogs, shelter employees decided to name the dog Forester. “We thought he epitomizes what an underdog is—a dog who survives the worst and overcomes so many challenges,” employees said. “Our Forester shows us every day that anything is possible!”

Even after all the challenges the senior dog faced, another obstacle stands in the way—little Forester’s medical bills. “Please donate today to help us pay over $5,000 in veterinary costs for Forester’s care,” shelter officials are pleading. “We all know how expensive veterinary care is, but even with the discounts we receive as a shelter, this is a hefty bill. We believe Forester is worth every single penny, but we could use your help now!”