A rescued dog in who captured the hearts of those who met him at the Maple Ridge SPCA has been adopted, and his new family brought him home Friday.

Handsome the Mastiff was found in December tethered on a heavy chain without food or water on a property in Hope. He was emaciated. X-rays showed he had rocks in his stomach.

"He is just such a loving boy, for what this dog went through. I can't beleive it. I'm going to cry," said Liz Kilback, a BC SPCA volunteer.

Staff at the Maple Ridge SPCA threw Handsome a sendoff party on Friday, bringing together those who cared for him at the shelter and his new owners, plus the man who stepped forward to sponsor his vet bills.

"It's nice to see him adopted," said Kyle Chester, who donated $4,200 towards Handsome's recovery.

The big, smiley Mastiff went home with a man named Pat and his sons.

"I just saw his story on the news," Pat said. "We'd lost our dog about a year ago and we were looking to rescue a dog. The story fit."

Pat works with one of the volunteers at the shelter, and came in to meet Handsome a few weeks after he was brought in.

At the party, Handsome accepted several belly and tried to eat from a tray of cookies meant for the human attendees.

"He's just the most happy-go-lucky guy. He's just stolen everybody's heart," said Jenn Stack, the SPCA branch manager.

He came in weighing just 35 kilograms and a vet gave him a body score of one on a nine-point scale. He was infested with fleas and also had pressure sores from staying outside without any bedding.

"I don't know how anybody could do that to a dog," Pat said. "It's beyond me."

Now, Handsome weighs 48 kilograms and is happy and healthy.

His new family lives on a quarter acre of land and has a fenced in yard for him. Pat said he's just built a new dog house for the Mastiff to lounge in during the day complete with a doggie front porch. At night, Handsome will come inside with the family.

"He can run free, no chains," Pat said. "He can be a dog."

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber