A dog left behind as the Camp fire swept through Butte County last month was found "protecting what was left of his former home" when his owners were finally allowed back onto their burned property earlier this week.

K9 Paw Print Rescue shared the happy story of golden retriever Madison and his relieved owners in a Facebook post on Dec. 5, shared more than 9,500 times.

The dog's owner "hoped and prayed" he would be OK, according to the rescue organization's post.

Pet rescue volunteer Shayla Sullivan, who had previously met Madison's owner on another rescue, returned to the burned property often to put out fresh food and water for the missing animal, also leaving an article of the owner's clothing.

And it worked. When his owners returned, there he sat.

"He never gave up on his people," wrote Sullivan. "He didn't give up through the storm or the fire!"

The almost month-long fire burned more than 153,000 acres, destroyed almost 14,000 residences and killed 85 people.