RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- When Officer Cecilia Morris recalled the first time she met Twiggy, she could hardly talk about the horrific scene.
"This was really heartwrenching for me because I was shocked that he was even still alive and even had an inkling of fight still left in him to stay alive that long in those conditions. He was so skinny he really looked like just hide hanging on a skeleton," she said.
She found the border collie and pit bull mix locked in a crate, covered in dried defecation and lying motionless on his side.
He'd been left behind in a vacant apartment bathroom after his owner was evicted.
"When I got closer to the kennel, I saw the dog blink and I realized the dog was alive," Morris said.
Twiggy weighed 19 pounds when he was found in November. He had to be syringe-fed with water and nearly died several times while in the care of animal control.
For a little more than a month, Morris hardly left Twiggy's side. Then one day, he began to walk and then run and jump.
Soon the dog was more than 40 pounds and ready for adoption. He was ready to meet Michelle Hill.
"I have one dog at home that recently lost his buddy...and he's very lonely so I figured I'd check the rescues," she said. "When I walked in, I was actually looking for another dog that I saw online and he caught my eye. I saw him on the right-hand side and I said, 'Hey, he's kind of cool.'"
Hill had no idea until Wednesday the extent of Twiggy's abuse and neglect. Morris showed her the pictures of his recovery.
It makes the happy ending that much sweeter for Hill, Twiggy and their dear friend Morris.
"I'm an animal lover, and when I found that out it makes it more special that I'm able to give him a home because he deserves it," Hill said.
Morris was moved to tears just thinking about Twiggy's new life.
"It makes my heart feel happy. I'm really happy that he found a home," she said.
Inland Empire dog finds forever home after nearly dying while locked in cage in empty apartment