BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - When Springer showed up at the Brunswick County Animal Shelter in 2013 he was skin and bones and couldn't move his back legs.
Click here to see pictures of Springer when he was found. WARNING: these pictures may be disturbing
Lt. Tommy Tolley with Brunswick County Animal Protective Services connected with Springer right away.
"The easy thing would have been to say he's too far gone and to let him not suffer, but we didn't give up on him. He didn't give up on us and he's been a very positive part of my life," Tolley said.
While living at the shelter, Springer became part of the everyday crew.
"The whole staff fell in love with him," Tolley explained. "I fostered him during that time and he just became part of part of my family."
Now Springer has quite a busy schedule. He goes to work at the animal shelter with Lt. Tolley just about every day. "He helps us evaluate dogs that are coming up for adoption," said Tolley.
On his off time, Springer takes trips to the beach, rides in or sometimes follows behind a golf cart.
His favorite thing to do is play fetch and relax.
"Some days he gets a day off and just hangs out in the house, lays up on the couch and enjoys his time off as well," Tolley said.
It's a rewarding relationship between a man and a dog that someone else abandoned and left to die.
Springer's owner Tara Johnson was arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty and one count of abandonment.
According to the Brunswick County District Attorney's Office Johnson entered a formal deferred prosecution agreement on September 30, 2013.
That allowed her to go on probation for 12 months as long as she paid $85.95 to Brunswick County Animal Protective Services, $639.50 to the state for court costs and attorney's fees and most importantly relinquish ownership of Springer and not own an animal during her deferment. Johnson met the requirements so her case was dismissed after a 12 month probation period.