It was an unimaginable act of animal cruelty inflicted upon a six-week-old puppy when his owner threw a pot of boiling water over a helpless little pooch for chewing on his former owner’s cell phone; and then there was more abuse. As if the puppy’s owner hadn’t inflicted enough cruelty on a defenseless animal, the little dog was then tossed off of a fourth floor balcony – and there he laid on the ground to languish in agony.
No one knows how many pedestrians walked by, but an angel showed up in the nick of time. Yan Yingying, 30 found the little one near death and rushed him to a veterinarian. According to Animals Asia veterinarian Emily Drayton, Yingying was a miracle. “The sight must have been so horrific – and I’m sure many people would have walked past and pretended not to see. But she didn’t. She took Tuffy to a local vet in Chengdu and paid for all his veterinary care. That saved his life.” Everyday for two weeks, the designer brought the puppy, dubbed Tuffy later by his rescuers, to the veterinarian for treatment, but the little guy needed a specialist for the egregious injuries he suffered; his pain was excruciating.
Then came the time for Yingying to find a more experienced staff to attend to the puppy who had been in so much pain that he could barely open his eyes. She found Animals Asia’s China sanctuary, and that’s when Dr. Drayton had her first look at the puppy who wanted so badly to live: “…when I saw Tuffy… I was shocked and sickened to my core. I could not stop the tears from rising; there was no point. Never had I seen an animal in so much pain.”
Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia, best known for rescuing bears from the bear bile trade, was also shocked at Tuffy’s condition. Robinson stated: “When a vet tells you to prepare yourself, you know you’re going to be in for a shock. But nothing prepared me for this pathetic little form shivering on his towel in the recovery cage, after being brought to our hospital in Chengdu. A tiny naked pup, with a red raw body that looked like a huge blister, looking out at the world with the misery of an animal who couldn’t understand why he had been punished with pain.” A veterinarian flown in from Hong Kong helped with Tuffy’s injuries as the little dog was regularly given pain medication every four hours and skin treatments for the horrible raw burns. Though the healing progress continued, Tuffy was in bandages for months. His elbows and knees were fused to his body from the burns; his ears pulled back so tightly, it was impossible for him to close his eyes – even while he slept. Then came the need for skin grafts to promote healing and new growth. The only place his skin wasn’t affected was on his scrotum, so as he was neutered, not a shred of extra skin was wasted.
And then came another very difficult part of Tuffy’s recuperation – his emotional well-being. With that came the origin of “Team Tuffy” – a group of animal lovers who became aware of the dog’s plight and contributed to his recovery. Tuffy will always have large patches of fur missing; his wardrobe now includes many coats for him to wear. He lives with Yan; the kind woman who rescued him.
And even though Tuffy will surely never forget how his young life started, everyone who has ever touched him, helped him and loved him state the dog has forgiven humans. “I do not think he has forgotten what has happened, I don’t think he ever will. But he has forgiven us, and he trusts us, and I think this is the reason Tuffy is still with us today,” stated Robinson. Live long and love little Tuffy. Tuffy’s story on video can be viewed here. The video is very graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences.
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