A dog who was found “filthy and emaciated” outside of a McDonald’s last year finally has a home, according to a Florida animal rescue.

Natalie, believed to be about 2 years old and described as a calm and friendly golden retriever, was known to animal control officers because she used to scrounge for scraps at a local McDonald’s, the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida (GRRSWF) wrote in a statement on February 29.

GRRSWF, in Bonita Springs, Florida, facilitated Natalie’s rescue in early December along with the help of volunteers Bill and Donna Belanger, who agreed to travel to pick up the dog and foster her.

The Belangers told The Miami Herald in an interview over the weekend that they felt a connection with Natalie right away.

“She settled right into our house like she belonged here,” Donna said. “She wasn’t nervous. She didn’t pant. She was just very happy to be here.”

Dog Found Outside McDonald's Finds Home
Natalie, a golden retriever who was found “filthy and emaciated” outside of a Florida McDonald’s last year, has found a loving forever home.

Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida

Newsweek reached out via email and Facebook on Monday night to the GRRSWF for comment.

While Natalie now has a loving family, the golden retriever’s journey included health issues that she still must overcome.

“We knew nothing about her health or behavior and had to hope she was not pregnant,” GRRSWF said.

Natalie’s health required the pup to be rushed to a veterinary emergency room, where she tested positive for heartworms, which can cause severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs if left untreated.

“Bill and Donna never hesitated with the news that she would have many months of treatment and vet trips to get through before we can spay her,” the rescue said. “They fell in love with her after a few days.”

GRRSWF said that Natalie, who was named after a 12-year-old girl who donated to the rescue, will undergo treatment for heartworms while the pup enjoys life with her new family.

“She has her loving family and will never have to search a McDonald’s parking lot for food, the rescue said. “Thanks, Bill and Donna, for saying yes when we needed help and understanding rescue dogs don’t always come perfectly healthy or behaved. Congrats on your new family member!!!”