The story you’re about to read is heartbreaking. This poor dog was homeless for 10 years. Living on the street with no support or loving family is tough.

But Charlie the dog never gave up, and now his homeless days are behind him.

Charlie was living around Highbridge Park in upper Manhattan, and thanks to a group of residents he will finally have a place to call home.

Yuliya Avezbakiyeva is one of the neighbors who was bringing food and water to Charlie over the years. He wasn’t completely alone, and he had dog friends to spent time with.

But his friends disappeared over the last half-decade, and he was left on his own. According to the residents, Charlie was also trouble with his hips.

Yuliya Avezbakiyeva and the other neighbors were even more worries when Charlie wasn’t eating the food that people in the area left out for him.

The weather condition wasn’t on his side as well.  The winter in Ney York, and Charlie’s health condition was a sign that the residents needed to immediate action.

“I knew he wasn’t doing well,” One of the neighbors said. “He was clearly injured.”

But Charlie wasn’t used to human contact after spending 10 years on the streets. The residents needed a plan to approach him, without scaring him.

Lauffer’s idea was to gain his trust by offering him a warm and cozy place near her.

“He needs to associate me… [with] food and companionship and heat and warmth,” she told DNA Info. “I was able to line the bottom of his bed with hand warmers … He loved it.”

Putting a leash on Charlie

After gaining his trust, the residents were able to put a leash on Charlie, and they immediately took him to the vet.

I cried,” said Avezbakiyeva. “We all cried.”

Mission accomplished. Charlie was out of the park, and on his way to a better life. The neighbors were emotional, because after 10 years Charlie will have a loving home.

Photo credit: Denise LaufferPhoto credit: Denise Lauffer

“Medically, Charlie is doing okay,” said veterinary neurologist Boaz Levitin. “Mentally, he still feels as though he was abducted by space aliens.”

Charlie needed some time to adopt to the new environment. Everybody wanted to see Charlie happy, and they worked out a plan to take care of him.

“We agreed that Tiina will be the one [to keep Charlie], with the condition that the rest of us will be involved.”

“We want him to be happy, but he is not yet happy,” said Avezbakiyeva. “He’s a special dog.”

“Anything’s better than where he was,” she says. “He wasn’t going to make it.”

“We always knew he was a good boy,”

“It just worked out. Everything was meant for him to be rescued that day.”

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