A Florida puppy that was found thrown over a fence at an assisted living home was nursed back to health and has become a therapy dog for the elderly.

FORT WALTON BEACH — He was thrown over the fence and left to die. Found malnourished, full of worms, and near death. The veterinarians weren't sure he would see another day.

But now Chance — a 5-month-old black lab, terrier mix — has found his "second chance at life" at the Belvedere Commons of Fort Walton Beach.

Chance was found on May 20. While employees and residents at the Belvedere Commons sat in the dining room enjoying a game of bingo, one employee walked into the room holding a puppy she said had been tossed over the fence into the assisted living facility's yard.

Kim Hazelton, Chance's now-owner, said because of how malnourished the pup was, they immediately rushed him to the veterinary hospital.

"I was instantly in love, and so was everybody else," Hazelton said.

Chance was nursed back to health by Hazelton through heartworm treatments and care.

Because Chance was found at the assisted living facility, Hazelton, an employee at the Belvedere Commons, thought it appropriate to raise him at the facility and bring him five days a week as a verified therapy dog for the elderly residents.

"He's really delighting everybody that lives here," Hazelton said. " ... I can't walk down the hall, can't walk down into the dining room without everybody saying, 'Oh! There's Chance!' He gets lots of kisses, treats, and hugs.

"From going from having nothing and being so malnourished, he's got a wonderful life now."

Hazelton signed Chance up for puppy classes at Inner Wag, where she said he's been used several times as examples to his classmates because he's so smart.

As for his name, that was an easy decision made by Hazelton's co-worker because the Belvedere Commons was truly Chance's second chance.

"It was meant to be," Hazelton said. "It was all God."

This story originally published to nwfdailynews.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.