Mugsy is not your average dog.
Her face is completely deformed. Her jaw is misaligned and she’s also missing an eye, among other things.
At just seven-months-old the little pup has seen the worst and best of humanity.
Her journey from Iran to the west coast of Canada is one of heartbreak and hope.
WATCH: 7 month old puppy disfigured by acid given new hope in Vancouver
In the fall of 2018, Sam Taylor adopted Mugsy after spotting her story on the rescue site Loved at Last dog Rescue, which is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization rehoming local dogs and international stray dogs.
Taylor said she was on that site donating to another dog when she felt compelled to help Mugsy.
“After reading about the awful beginning to her life and knowing she would need to leave Iran to see a better vet in North America, I decided to adopt her,” Taylor said.
After filling out an application and completing a phone interview, it was just a matter of time before Mugsy would be flown out of Tehran.
“Eventually a loving family volunteered to bring her over to Vancouver,” Taylor said, who met the little pup on Dec. 12.
The Maltese/Japanese Spitz mix was living with a loving family in Iran, but when she was just shy of six-weeks-old someone allegedly doused her with a corrosive cleaner and salts.
“The acids burned much of her face, ear, left eye and she lost her entire nose,” Taylor explained.
The actual details of how the events unfolded and who tossed corrosive material on the puppy was not revealed to Taylor by the rescue agency. The only information given to Taylor was that no one in that family was involved. Taylor is still in touch with Mugsy’s Iranian family and updates them on her situation.
In Iran, it is legal to own a dog. In 2014, however, a number of conservative parliamentarians proposed a bill that would subject dog owners to 74 lashes and a fine to have dogs in public or riding in a car. Authorities patrol the streets arresting the dogs, then sending them to a detention centres, never to be seen again. Iranians are forced to take to the streets with their pets late at night, most often in back alleys to evade authorities.
After the incident, Mugsy was taken to a veterinarian in Tehran to be euthanized but a volunteer from Persian Paws Rescue and Loved at Last dog Rescue stepped in for the tiny dog to have her damaged eye surgically removed to begin recovery.
Taylor said Mugsy is a happy, affectionate dog with a great personality who wags her tail and plays just like any other dog.
“I think having Mugsy in my life and my family meeting her has been very healthy for us. As people, to see this little animal having gone through such a horrible event but still be able to love and trust.”
Mugsy still has a long road to recovery.
Dr. Michael King of Canada West Veterinary Specialists hopes to fix the large hole that’s in Mugsy’s nasal passage by performing two surgeries. The first on Feb 12., King said, involves creating new nostril openings and using the tip of her ear to replace the bone and skin lost on the top of her nose.
“The ear will be partially attached over the defect and left in place for at least three weeks so that a blood supply forms from the edges of the nose into the transplanted ear,” King explained. After that, the second surgery will be to free up the ear from the area, leaving the tip in place to hopefully survive on its own in its new location filling in the defect on the bridge of her nose.”
The surgeon is optimistic about the outcome, but said there are no guarantees with Mugsy’s situation being so unique.
From the start of her life, Mugsy has endured a lot, but now that things have taken a turn for the better, Taylor hopes her dog can be an unofficial ambassador for rescue dogs, to bring awareness to animal abuse.
Photo gallery of Mugsy: Photos submitted: