As any dog owner would know, there are few things more enticing than an open trash can. Especially when there are tempting leftovers in there for them to lick.

And it is unthinkable that a pet lover would ever severely punish their furry best friend for this very dog-like habit; going as far as to leave him at a shelter.

Unfortunately for this pup, his parents were tired of the garbage digging and decided to put an end to the behavior by dropping unsuspecting 2-year-old Coby off at Fairfield County Shelter.

Suddenly, the poor pup was far away from his family and home. Coby was terrified. A devastating punishment for a bafflingly small matter. Volunteers at the shelter couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.

“He is scared out of his mind … almost like a feral dog would be … but not once did he growl, or try to bite,” Samira El-Hage‎, a shelter volunteer, wrote on Facebook. “He wanted to hide under the raised bed or run away when we got outside. He kept trying to chew the leash and would not look at us.”

“He just stands in that corner facing the wall,” she added.

El-Hage‎ wasn’t the only one who’s heartstrings were tugged by Coby’s predicament. Footage of a traumatized Coby cowering at the shelter was shared online, leaving animal lovers in tears.

Several states away, Leigh Maddox, founder of Compassion For Cats of Delaware, couldn’t believe a family would go so far as to abandon their faithful pet over something so minor.

“He tugged at my heartstrings and I instantly knew we had to pull him [from the shelter],” said Maddox.

As soon as Maddox began making arrangements for the nearly nine-hour drive between the shelter and Coby’s soon-to-be foster home, Pilots N Paws, an organization that flies at-risk shelter dogs to their foster homes, stepped in. Volunteers managed to drop Coby into the loving arms of his new foster mom, Olivia Fritz.

From the moment the plane landed, Fritz knew earning Coby’s trust wouldn’t be an easy task.

“Coby was so tucked into the seat that it was difficult for my husband to get him out,” said Fritz. “Once he was out of the plane he went limp from fear … He was so shut down that really he did not respond to anything or anyone.”

Unlike Coby’s former family, Fritz is happy to find ways to keep her garbage inside the trash can.

“My personal dogs have ALWAYS been trash diggers and we as a family have come up with creative ways to help with that behavior,” Fritz said. “This is what a family should do when they own dogs — not dump them in a shelter. The entire story just broke my heart.”

After nearly a month into his new life at the foster home, Coby is adjusting little by little. He has to be carried in and out of the house as he is still too frightened to go outside on his own, but thankfully he’s taking baby steps in the right direction.

His progress includes eating treats from his foster mom’s hand, walking a bit and chewing on his bones, but no matter how long Coby’s recovery takes, foster mom Fritz is willing to work with him until he’s ready for his furever home.

“I thought if I just held him and kissed him that he would know he was loved … but it is far more than that,” Fritz said. “I hope the damage he suffered can be overcome but it won’t be overnight.”

“He is super special to the rescue,” Fritz added, “and he will get nothing but the best home when he is ready!”