He’s being called a miracle dog.
A puppy who was so badly burned, several veterinarians said he would never make it.
“These burns were the worst I have ever seen,” Dr. Jonas Watson said.
“The burns were very large, very extensive. The worst part was half of his face, including his lips and eye on the left side, were badly damaged right down to bone.”
Issy was rescued from a northern First Nation in March.
READ MORE: Dog thrown into fire pit by kids now recovering in Winnipeg with second-degree burns
The puppy, who is now about one year old, was strangled. Believed to be dead, he was then thrown into a fire, according to rescuers.
“He jumped up and ran out of the fire and they weren’t able to find him,” Nichole Porth said.
It took nearly two weeks for community members to be able to capture him and get him the care he needed in Winnipeg.
“I was the one that met his flight,” Porth, a coordinator with Save A Dog Network, said. “This teeny little dog in this giant kennel.”
Porth immediately called Dr. Watson at the Tuxedo Animal Hospital who met her at the facility overnight to help assess the situation.
His entire body was covered with extensive burns and injuries.
“When he came in he was so injured and compromised and really emotionally shut down,” Dr. Watson said. “I knew that he was a fighter. I knew that we owed it to him to persevere and help him along because he had fought so hard himself.”
Watson, with the help of several colleagues from his clinic and Dr. Samyra Stuart-Altman from Central Vet, spent the following weeks performing major surgeries and intensive care on Issy to help him survive.
“He lost parts of his ear,” Dr. Watson said. “This ear is essentially gone.”
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Despite his excessive injures and grim prognosis, Issy pulled through.
“He is an amazing dog. You wouldn’t know that he had been through the trauma that he has been through except for the visible wounds,” Porth said. “His personality is unbelievable. He is loving. He is sweet. His tail is always wagging.”
Donations can be made to Save A Dog Network in Issy’s name or to help other rescue animals.
Issy is one of the lucky ones. Reports of animal neglect and abuse around the province have spiked in the past few years.
The province’s Department of Agriculture said the number of complaints have more than tripled since 2009.
It’s lead the province to plan a full review of Manitoba’s animal welfare services this summer.
In 2009, the office of the Provincial Vet investigated 317 complaints of suspected animal abuse or neglect outside of Winnipeg. Last year alone, it investigated 1,026 complaints.
READ MORE: Teen charged in animal abuse case, puppy recovering in Winnipeg veterinary hospital
In May 2017, Save A Dog Network rescued an eight week old puppy named Polo from Red Sucker Lake First Nation.
His hair was singed and burns covered much of his body. Polo had also been tossed into a fire pit but through the help of vets and rescue workers was able to make a full recovery.
The year before, a young dog named Asha was rescued and brought to Winnipeg for treatment after being abused — an incident which was captured on camera. The video showed a young man throwing the small dog several feet into the air over a paved road and it falling to the ground. The dog could then be seen struggling to get up off the pavement.
Manitoba RCMP arrested 18-year-old Jesse Young and charged him with causing unnecessary pain and injury to a dog and breach of undertaking.
Rescue shelters continue to call for more action and for harsher penalties in cases of animal cruelty.