Marley the dog has spent the last five years chained up to a dog house in the backyard of a rural Virginia home – but now, after being given a loving forever home, he has made an awe-inspiring transformation.

Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been keeping their eyes on Marley since they first became aware of his predicament several years ago. The organization says that the pup was so neglected, he did not even know the sound of his own name – he was only familiar with the word “no”.

While PETA members periodically visited Marley at his dog house, they were unable to do much about his predicament because state law does not have a lot of protective legislation for neglected pets.

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PETA representatives told Good News Network: “Until he became emaciated, his conditions were considered in compliance with the law. PETA has been working with local officials to pass a chaining ordinance, which we hope would help dogs like Marley in the future.”

“In these areas, for now, we have no recourse but to remain persistent and maintain good relationships with the dogs’ owners … otherwise, we run the risk that they’ll refuse to let us help their animals at all,” they added.

Thankfully, after lots of heavy persuasion, Marley’s owner finally agreed to relinquish the pup to the rescue organization.

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The dog was treated for his condition and was eventually adopted by Michael Moss, who has transformed Marley from a sad mutt into a happy hound.

“I really, really liked his little attitude that he had and the spirit that he had that wasn’t going to be broken,” says Moss. “He’s got toys, bones, treats, and Kyah—and a big backyard he can play in .… That’s all I really want. I just want him to be happy.”

(WATCH the heartwarming video below)

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