A kind-hearted dog sits inside a cage by the side of the road, yearning for someone to notice her

Abandoned in a cage near the side of a busy road in Florida, a sweet dog named Natalie paced around the small space, hoping someone would see her. Without food or water, Natalie was beginning to grow tired and hungry — she needed help, and fast.

When a passerby eventually noticed Natalie, they knew something was wrong, so they alerted the Humane Society of Tampa Bay Animal Hospital. After hearing the news, rescue staff were out the door in moments.

“Everyone sprang into action,” Regan Blessinger, Humane Society of Tampa Bay marketing and content manager, told The Dodo.

As rescuers approached the cage, they could tell Natalie was a bit nervous — she was cowering in a corner, avoiding their touch. However, when they freed her from the cramped metal box, they immediately saw her mood shift.

“Her tail wagged when she was out of the crate,” Blessinger said.

Once at the animal hospital, Natalie was assessed for injuries, given a bath and enjoyed lots of food. All the while, she received plenty of snuggles from staff members, who wanted her to feel comfortable and safe.

“Despite the scars on Natalie and the fact that she was left all alone, she was so loving and happy,” Blessinger said. “We could tell she was relieved she was now being taken care of.”

Soon, the dog who used to cower in the corner was excitedly playing with anyone she met and begging for scratches at every opportunity.

“Natalie was timid at first but warmed up to people and dogs quickly!” Blessinger said. “She was loved by staff and volunteers because [of] how she would lay in the sun and look at you, waiting for some butt scratches.”

After only a month at the shelter, Natalie found her forever family. The sweet dog, who’d once worried that she’d always be alone, was finally part of a whole — headed home to enjoy the life she deserved.

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