On Sunday, May 7, in Red Sucker Lake First Nation, a group of kids, ages 10 to 12, scooped an eight-month-old puppy named Polo from Manitoba, Canada, and threw him into a scorching fire pit.
His burns were so severe that doctors couldn’t identify his breed or mix.
When the dog went home, the family found him severely burned. The family immediately contacted the Save A Dog Network Canada, a Winnipeg-based organization that has worked tirelessly to engage First Nations communities in spaying and neutering the overpopulated stray dog population. The organization took Polo all the way to Winnipeg for treatment for his extensive burns and lesions.
Katie Powell, the founder of the organization, told CityNews, “His whole body was smoking … he had smoke and bubbles coming from his nose.”
CBC News reported that Polo was rushed to Tuxedo Animal Hospital on Monday. Now, the dog was treated for second-degree burns on his nose, mouth, paws, testicles, and belly. His throat and lungs were swollen, and there were ulcers in his eyes from smoke damage.
With so much damage, surviving the fire was just sheer luck. It was Polo’s thick coat fur that protected his skin.
Polo’s family had to make a hard decision.
The family is thankful to the organization, but, they are surrendering the puppy to a rescue group in Vancouver to be put up for adoption. The family believed that Polo will not be safe living with them in Manitoba anymore.
The kids targeted the poor dog when one of the children in the family was being bullied, and the dog tried to defend the child.
Powell told CityNews that after such a traumatizing experience, “The children are devastated. The family is at a loss for words.”
Even with the burns, Polo still wags his tail.
Despite of suffering agonizing burns, his spirit never wavered.
Powell told Today that he “is such a little ham. Despite his hardships, he’s a happy guy.”
The dog, occasionally, wags his tail to show appreciation for his treatment. At the hospital, he’s treated with the utmost care to help him heal from the ordeal. According to Today, veterinarian Jonas Watson administered antibiotics and pain medication while also bathing and bandaging Polo to coax him back to good health.
“He’s a tough little dog,” said Watson.
It took time to mend his burns, clean the soot off of his fur, and prevent him from falling sick, but according to Powell’s Facebook account, now, the dog is ready to trot out of the hospital and into the arms of a new family in Vancouver.
Powell told Epoch Times that Polo has many people have since offered to adopt Polo. The puppy’s lungs and paws have healed, and the wound on his back is much better. He’s at a different rescue center now and ready to find his forever home.
Powell, founder of Save the Dog Network in Canada, has been rescuing animals for about five years now. Her organization provides the much needed education and veterinary services that many communities in Northern Canada do not have access to.
What happens, then, is that dogs reproduce quickly and form packs, Powell explained. They quickly turn dangerous and can attack people and even hurt of kill children if it gets out of control. At any given time, there can be 50 to 350 dogs in a neighborhood, not because of negligence, but simply because people don’t have access to veterinary services, Powell said.
“There’s a big gap in support,” Powell said.
Five years ago, she encountered a hurt dog who ended up needed severe surgery. The costs added up to $10,000, and “I could not let it go,” Powell said.
She ended up fundraising to save the dog, and never turned back. “You just fall in love with it.”