Mama and Oreo had been living at the end of tethers for much of their lives, but thanks to a few volunteers, they’re now living a much improved life.The dogs were rescued by an elderly woman after they were abandoned by her neighbors in one of the poorest areas of Durham, North Carolina. The woman knew she couldn’t take them to the local shelter because they likely wouldn’t last long there, but she also didn’t have the money or resources to care for them properly.So she did the best with what she could, which was to give them each a doghouse outside and keep them on a tether. Although she couldn’t care for them in her home, she kept them both well-fed and clearly loved them.

When Mama, the black pit bull mix, managed to break loose from her tether one day, she wound up at animal control after being caught by an animal control officer. The officer realized that the dog would likely never make it out of the shelter, so he brought her back to the woman and told her about an organization called the Coalition to Unchain Dogs.The Coalition to Unchain Dogs is a group of volunteers who work to help dogs in underserved communities who live chained outdoors by providing free fences, vaccinations, and neutering/spaying.And because they realize that many owners of chained dogs love their pets but simply can’t care for them, they often don’t remove the dogs from their owners’ care but simply provide “non-judgmental assistance” to improve the dogs’ lives.

After the organization learned about the woman’s situation, several volunteers arrived to help build a fenced enclosure for Mama and Oreo so that they could run free.Once the fence was completed, each dog had their own yard where they could run around and play. Based on their heartwarming reactions, it’s clear they’re loving their new living situation.

Watch the video to see the the pups’ sweet reaction for yourself.