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'He changed our life' | Abused dog helps Cocke County shelter that saved him

Donations poured in for his recovery and beyond, which helped the Friends of Animal Shelter fully transform a room.

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. — A dog who recovered from abuse in Cocke County is inspiring people to help the shelter that saved him.

Reporters first introduced people to 'Calvin the dog' earlier this year. He recovered after being found near death. 

Calvin's recovery touched hearts not only countywide, but all over the U.S. 

When found outside of Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County, the staff knew the little puppy might not make it. But almost a year later, Calvin proved them wrong and did a whole lot more than just survive.

"Just having the use of the room brings me great joy because now you can open up the door and they can play around," said Alison Chiaradio with the shelter.

She fostered Calvin and ended up adopting him. Chiaradio said donations poured in for his recovery and beyond. They helped the shelter fully transform a room.

"They always had to be in a crate. It was just a crate filled room, unsanitary even though as much as you clean it, it was never clean enough," she said.

Meant for small dogs and puppies, the room is now filled with life and many new additions like kennels, supplies, beds and even a new floor, ceiling and lighting fixtures. 

"It's funny how a small thing like that can change hearts here, everywhere," said Chiaradio. "Calvin he changed our lives for the good."

She said his story continues to share an important message.

"No matter what comes to you in life you can always recover from it, there's always hope," she said.

From 4 pounds to 40 pounds, Calvin still faces everyday challenges with blindness and occasional seizures. But the impact he has had and will continue to have on other dog's lives is nothing short of a miracle. 

"He's been a little miracle here and everyone fell in love with him and his story," Chiaradio said.

The shelter plans to continue renovations. They are a no-kill shelter and one day hope to become a no-crate shelter as well. 

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