Much has been written about the impact adoption can have on the life of an unloved shelter pet β€” but words pale in comparison to seeing that unbridled joy first hand.

Up until recently, a sweet but shy dog named Benny had no idea what the future had in store for him, or how close he came to seeing his cut short. As a resident of the Carson Animal Care Center, a high-kill shelter in Gardena, California, all he could do was sit and wait for someone to come along and save him, which he did week after week with no success. But then that all changed.

Earlier this month, Benny was finally adopted by a loving family. His reaction upon realizing that happy fact? Priceless.

While Benny's story has a positive ending, sadly, there are millions of shelter dogs like him desperately awaiting their own. To learn about adopting a pet, or to find out other ways you can help, visit your local animal shelter.