Laurens County, SC (WLTX) - Champ the dog was found in Laurens County, SC on August 15th. He was emaciated and covered with maggots after being nearly starved to death on purpose.

"This was not something where he was left alone and he didn't have the means. This was intentional. Somebody had the means and didn't do what they were supposed to do. That's a different story and she's being criminally held accountable for what she did," says Richland County Sheriff's Department Lt. Kevin Hoover.

Veterinarians estimate that Champ is about 18 months old. The young mastiff should have been over 100 pounds. He was barely 55 pound when he was rescued. We're told he had muscle atrophy and couldn't walk on his own. His torment might have went on for an entire month.

"It must have been for a pretty extensive period because he had really exhausted all of his body's backup, and its ability to produce minerals, and produce red blood cells, and the things that he need for survival," says Tracy Schlicksup, owner of CVETS, (Columbia Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty.)

After about two weeks of rehabilitation, Champ is well on his way to making a full recovery. Monday he got a special visit from the folks from the Richland County Sheriff's Department's K-9 unit.

Lieutenant Hoover says, "Our passion is dogs to start with. And it doesn't matter the breed, but when you see the kind of shape that Champ was in, your heart goes out."

He's getting what Hoover calls the "Cadillac of therapeutic dog beds." He is also getting some toys, a kong to put his biscuits in, and a cozy blanket. And even after all he's been through, his spirit is unyielding. He wags of his little cropped tail and snuggles with everyone around.

Hoover says, "Humans did this to him, and he's not holding this against the humans."

And with an attitude like Champs', he'd fit right in on that RCSD K-9 unit.

"That guy has got the heart of a lion. I am sure we could find something for him, but I'm sure he's not going to have a problem finding a home after what he's been through," laughs Hoover.

He's got a new name, befitting his victory in face of such extreme cruelty, Champ. And he's got a new lease on life. After he's fully recovered, Champ will go off to find his forever home.