This precious little creature was only six weeks old when he suffered painfully, and nearly died, from the hands of his owner. His tiny and tender body was burned with scalding water and he was thrown to the concrete pavement from a fourth-floor balcony. Most animals subjected to the same cruelty would have died instantly.
Was it really necessary to inflict that kind of horrific abuse on a pet? Certainly not! And what exactly did the little dog do to deserve this punishment? He chewed his owner's cell phone…
The owner could have just surrendered the dog to a shelter or given him up for adoption if innocent puppy behaviors, such as chewing, were too much to handle.
This was a purely hideous act that all animal lovers must help prevent from happening again. However, this story unfurls from a sickening account into one of endless kindness that deserves retelling.
Yan Yingying, a 30-year-old designer, was stunned upon seeing the badly burned puppy unconscious on the ground near an apartment building. She immediately picked the little pup up and rushed him to a local vet in Chengdu.
Had Yan not found the dog when she did, he might not have survived such massive trauma.
For two straight weeks, she would take him to the vet every single day. The damage was obviously massive, and the local vet office didn’t have what the poor puppy needed in his condition. There was little progress, and Yan realized that the puppy needed better or more intensive care.
With the help of Pet Quest, an online veterinary advice service, she found AnimalsAsia’s China sanctuary and drove him there fast. At the facility, not even the most seasoned doctors and staff were able to conceal their shock upon seeing the pup’s raw burns. The puppy agonized in pain, and he could not even close his eyes.
The staff at AnimalsAsia faced a dilemma. Was there still time to do something for the puppy? Was it too late? Wouldn’t it be more humane to just put him to sleep and end his suffering?
The puppy’s determination to survive, however, was admirable. And they thought that Yan’s effort to save the poor little guy shouldn’t be for naught. That single act of kindness was so inspiring it moved others and created a chain of people each wanting to help the puppy get his second chance at life.
The rescue effort was led by two of AnimalsAsia’s best vets – Mandala Hunter-Ishikawa, who’s now assigned at AnimalsAsia’s Vietnam sanctuary, and Emily Drayton. With them was a team of consultants, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, staff and carers who vowed to do everything they could to save the pup and not let him down again.
The procedures needed by the dog were very painful, yet he doggedly took it all. They christened him Tuffy, for being such a tough guy fighting for his life. The team needed to regularly clean his wounds, change his bandage, administer pain treatment and provide him nourishment intravenously. He had to be monitored every three to four hours.
Shortly, Tuffy began to show improvement; albeit still unable to stand up and walk.
On the day that he began eating, the team knew he would truly survive. For several months Tuffy’s body had to be swathed in bandage. Progress was slow, but there was progress. His knees and elbows were somehow fused to his body from the burns, while his ears were pulled back, keeping his eyes from closing even as he slept.
Another act of kindness came from Dr. Alane Cahalane, a specialist surgeon from The Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Hong Kong, who performed Tuffy’s first surgery (for free) to release his fused legs and elbows and allow his skin to stretch so he could close his eyes.
Next, there was Dr. Kieren Maddern of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management Consultants, who also discussed (again for free) about wound care and management. And finally, Tuffy was doing great on his road to recovery.
I can't forget to mention, of course, the team members who had been there since day one when he was brought to AnimalsAsia until the day when he was released and given back to Yan. They have tirelessly and selflessly given their time and talent to turn this story of cruelty into one of awareness and sympathy for animals.