SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — This is one lucky dog.

After being rescued from a shelter the same week that he was scheduled to be euthanized, “Lucky” has found new life as a therapy dog at Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford.

Lucky was found in a roadside ditch in Dillon, S.C., two years ago. He had wounds on his face and ears. He was believed to have been attacked by other dogs, according to a news release from the hospital.

JR Poe and Lucky at Central Carolina Hospital. (Central Carolina Hospital)

At the shelter, his wounds were treated. He was also found to have intestinal worms. He stayed at the shelter for a week, but there were no takers for adoption.

Four days before he was scheduled to be put down, J.R. Poe, of Broadway, heard about him, the hospital said.

A friend of J.R.’s who does rescue work called and said he believed Lucky would make a great therapy dog, replacing J.R.’s previous therapy dog, “Buddy,” who had passed away.

Lucky with Nurses Angie Davis and Carrie Hall. (Central Carolina Hospital)

Lucky spent three more weeks healing from his wounds at the vet J.R. uses. Now, he is fully healed and has completed school to get certified as a therapy dog with N.C. Pet Partners.

J.R., a Sanford native and Vietnam veteran, serves as the official “Paws for a Cause” Dog Therapy Volunteer at the hospital.

Earlier this year, J.R. created a non-profit organization, J.R. Poe Therapy Dog Ministry, for his therapy program. He strictly relies on local donations – including stuffed animals he gives away, which have been paid for in part by J&F Amusements of Sanford – to keep his enterprise afloat, the hospota; said.

J.R. and Lucky, now age 4, make rounds twice a week at the hospital, providing visitation to select patients to provide social, emotional and healing support.