By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Larimer County community came together recently to save the life of a dog in need.

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Aries, a one-year-old German Shepherd was hit by a car two months before his first birthday. Thanks to the Larimer Humane Society, Colorado State University Veterinarian Hospital, and foster/adoptive families, he will live long pain-free life.

(credit: CBS)

When Aries was hit, his owners rushed him to the Larimer Humane Society. His injuries were so significant the family agreed to surrender him to an organization which could afford to pay for the surgery needed.

(credit: Larimer Humane Society)

Thanks to a partnership between CSU and the Larimer Humane Society, and donations from the community, Aries was rushed in to surgery.

(credit: CSU)

“He had taken a lot of trauma, mostly to his head and face,” said Dr. John Pegg, the surgeon at Colorado State University who led the emergency operation.

(credit: CBS)

Aries’ face would raise, and lower each time he took a breath, indicating fractures in his muzzle.

(credit: Larimer Humane Society)

The 3-D scans would show more than 12 fractures. Doctors said his skin was almost the only thing holding his snout in place.

(credit: CBS)

“(A) whole segment of his whole muzzle was essentially detached from the bone,” Pegg said.

Dr. John Pegg (credit: CBS)

“That type of extensive trauma needs care immediately,” said Jennifer Rawlinson, Chief of Dentistry and Oral Services at CSU.

Jennifer Rawlinson (credit: CBS)

Doctors, and the humane society, applauded Aries’ original owners, for giving them the opportunity to save his life.

(credit: CBS)

“We are proud to be here not only for animals, but for people as well, in the time of need,” said Kaylene Weingardt, spokesperson for the humane society.

(credit: CBS)

“Pets are members of the family,” Pegg said. “You wouldn’t put your son or daughter down, just because they had fractures to their face.”

After five hours of surgery, Aries was placed with one of the humane society’s many foster families. Susie Murphree spent every day with Aries for more than two months.

(credit: CBS)

“He touches people, and people want to do right by him,” Murphree said.

CSU veterinarians said Aries was able to fully recover quickly, due to his youth.

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(credit: CBS)

After a final checkup, Aries was introduced to the Kaplan family.

“It was love at first sight,” said Lee Kaplan, Aries’ new owner.

(credit: CBS)

With two children in the Kaplan home, Aries was able to re-socialize with humans.

“We knew that he needed some special ‘TLC’,” Kaplan said. “He came to us very strong, and ready to take the next step. It was as if he was supposed to have been here all along.”

When CBS4’s Dillon Thomas visited Aries, and the Kaplans, Aries was not shy. He was protective, yet welcoming. The Kaplan family said that was a change in behavior, from when he was very protective when they brought him home.

(credit: CBS)

Some said that change in personality could also be attributed to the hard work of foster families from the Larimer Humane Society.

“It does say a lot about our fosters, who are able to dedicated that amount of time, and commitment,” said Mikenzie Earl-Lynn, foster coordinator for the humane society. “It is not always easy.”

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Kaplan said her family was given a blessing in Aries, and they credited the community for making his survival possible.

(credit: CBS)

“We were the last lap of the relay. The success came with everyone working together,” Kaplan said.

“We do what we do every day, for those happy endings,” Weingardt said. “All those things played together to make sure Aries got the care he needed, when he needed it, to save his life.”

(credit: CBS)

Pegg said Aries should have a full, uninterrupted life. His surgery was a complete success.

Aries has his own Instagram page, located @Hairy_Aries.

The Larimer Humane Society also credited the quick reaction to give Aries surgery to donations from the community. They welcomed any donations, or foster families, that were available.

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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.