Meet Patrick. At first, your heart will cringe at the sight of him. Patrick was found wrapped in a garbage bag and stuffed down a chute. A garbage truck was ready to take him away, until he was rescued at the last moment.

It’s not certain how Patrick ended up in the trash, but we know his previous owners fastened him up to a railing for more than a week.

Look at Patrick’s emaciated state.

The dog was found wrapped in a plastic bag in a garbage chute just seconds before he would have been consumed by a trash compactor.

No one really knows how he got into the chute, but we do know that the dog’s owner had tied him to a railing and left him there for a week.

No one at Garden State Veterinary Services thought that he’d make it through the night, but somehow, he did.

They named him Patrick since he was discovered the day before St. Patrick’s Day… but this little dog wasn’t out of the woods yet.

At just 19 pounds and with a body temperature so low that it didn’t register on the thermometer, his chances for survival were slim.

He needed to have a massive hairball removed from his stomach before he could even eat again.

Everyone was rooting for the skinny puppy, and Patrick was trying his hardest to stay alive.

Every day that he survived was a victory.

His horrible abuse had left him wary and fearful of humans.

As his story spread, Patrick began to gain a following of admirers.

Slowly, his face began to show signs of life.

Although still very thin, he was beginning to resemble a dog instead of a skeleton.

He gradually began to trust the people who had been taking care of him.

… Even if he didn’t always understand what they were doing to him.

As his health improved, everyone at the veterinary hospital became more optimistic.

Patrick had begun to steadily put on weight… and develop a twinkle in his eye.

He even got a little festive!

Now that they knew he was going to survive, the staff’s next challenge was teaching Patrick to live like a dog again.

As it turned out, he was pretty playful!

Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, the hospital’s administrator, took Patrick into her own home… and it’s safe to say he adjusted fairly quickly.

She says that he’s a bundle of love, sleeping on the bed every night right along with the cat.

While he’s still timid around strangers, a dog biscuit is usually the perfect way to get him to warm up to you.

His former owner is being charged with neglect and abandonment, but regardless of what happens to her, Patrick has emerged victorious.

His story has been used to advocate for stricter animal abuse laws, which are desperately needed across the country.

Patrick’s incredible recovery might only make a small dent in the lives of abused and neglected animals around the world…