"He came to the clinic in very bad shape," said Ginette Campos, who is a veterinary tech at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.
Campos said Tiko, the now 3-year-old dog weighing 60 lbs, was likely hit by a car, causing severe injury to the dog's leg.
"The best decision for him in the moment was to amputate his leg," she said.
Campos was the first to care for Tiko upon arrival at the animal shelter.
"I was in surgery with him. I monitored him. I helped the doctors and I just felt like we belonged together," she said.
She calls it love at first sight, actually, but Campos wasn't looking to adopt another animal at the time she met Tiko. She already had four other animals at home. However, she knew Tiko's chances weren't good, being a large, adult dog that was newly missing a leg.
"People like a perfect puppy that will look like a puppy all the time, and he's not that," she said.
So, Campos gave in.
"When you know the perfect dog for you, you feel that," she said. "I keep telling my colleagues that I need to win the lottery and get a farm and adopt these animals because they have special needs."
Tiko is now happy at Campos' home. They are coming up on one year as a family and have big plans to celebrate the anniversary.
"I will try to take him to the beach. It will be his first time. He loves swimming," she said.
Campos looks forward to many memories ahead with Tiko.
"Here I am. You're mine. I'm yours. That's the important thing. This is a lifetime commitment," she said.
Adopt animals in the Tampa area, click here for more information.