Mugsy was born in Iran, and when she was 40 days old somebody threw acidic cleaner on her face as she played outside. (Instagram)

Puppy from Iran that had acid thrown on her face to have surgery in Vancouver

The surgery will create nostril openings and use the tip of her ear to replace the melted bone and skin

On a chilly January afternoon, Mugsy zipped across a green lawn like a whitish-brown arrow playing catch.

Her owner, Sam Taylor, a resident of Burnaby, B.C., threw a brown, stuffed hedgehog and the seven-month-old pup chased it, tail wagging, just like any other dog would.

But Mugsy is not like any other dog.

“She looks like Voldemort but has the heart of Harry Potter and his friends,” said Taylor with a laugh, as she cuddled the furball.

On Feb. 12, Mugsy will undergo the third surgery of her tiny life to repair damage from acid that was thrown onto her.

This surgery, to take place in Vancouver, will create nostril openings and use the tip of her ear to replace the melted bone and skin on the top of her nose, Taylor said.

The dog will be temporarily blind as the ear is folded over her face and is attached over her nose so a blood supply forms from the ear onto the nose, she said, adding that the ear acts as a graft.

The next surgery will attach stents in place of nostrils and unfold the ear, she said.

The two surgeries are expected to cost up to $7,000.

“It’s no guarantee but (the doctor) seemed optimistic,” Taylor said, smoothing the dog’s left ear, which will be used to create the bridge of her nose.

“I am apprehensive about the surgery. Hopefully she bounces back.”

Mugsy was born in Iran, and when she was 40 days old somebody threw acidic cleaner on her face as she played outside. Most of the pup’s face was melted including her lip, right eye and right ear. Her Iranian family, although they loved her, could not afford all the treatment that Mugsy would need so they decided to put her down.

But at veterinarian’s office in Iran, a volunteer from Persian Paws Rescue and Loved At Last Dog Rescue intervened. She also offered to pay for the Maltese-Japanese spitz mix’s eye removal, which was causing the pup the most pain.

The volunteer was worried about an infection in the pup’s nasal cavity and decided that the best chance for her survival would be if she was adopted by someone in North America who could afford the care, Taylor said.

Last fall, Taylor, who works as a lab assistant at a hospital in downtown Vancouver, was scrolling through a city-based non-profit organization, Loved At Last Dog Rescue, which finds homes for local and international stray dogs.

She was looking to make a donation on the site when she saw a blurred-out image that read, “graphic injury.”

“I thought it can’t be that bad,” she said.

She clicked.

“It was very, very graphic. I read her story and just and felt, ‘Oh I really want to help this dog.’”

She thought it over for about an hour — just a donation wouldn’t help because the dog needed surgery not available in Tehran — and then asked her roommate who agreed to having a dog in the house.

“And I showed her a picture, and she said, ‘Whoa, OK.’”

After filling out an application in late October, Taylor waited for about two months for Mugsy. A family visiting Vancouver brought Mugsy over with them, she said, adding that they had brought over other dogs before.

When Mugsy arrived she was very scared, Taylor said, and barked and howled and didn’t come out of her travelling kennel for about an hour.

And even after she came out, she didn’t eat or drink much.

“But now she’s very spoiled,” Taylor said, holding Mugsy close. “She gets squash and brown rice and sweet potato in her food. She’s pretty well-loved.”

Across the room a green-cheeked parakeet named Petri, also a rescue, hopped around in her cage. The bird and dog are friends.

Mugsy was called Hapoochi in Iran, which means tiny puppy, but Taylor said she wasn’t pronouncing the name right so her roommate came up with the name Mugsy.

“She does have the mug for it,” she said, with a chuckle.

When people ask her why she adopted a dog from another country when there a lot of dogs in Canada that need help, Taylor said it is ”incidental” that Mugsy is from Iran.

Once she saw Mugsy on the website, she said she couldn’t stop thinking about her.

“I don’t think animals have boundaries and borders. They don’t have a nationality,” Taylor said. “I can understand if people think it’s a bit corny.”

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Junior journalism program launches in Fernie

Young writers excited to step into world of journalism, work to be published in upcoming edition

New MRI unit increases access

Interior Health aims for 5100 exams in Cranbrook this year

DNA test links two cougar incidents in Fernie

Further information has surfaced linking a child that was attacked by a… Continue reading

CO Service euthanize emaciated black bear

The animal had left its den and taken shelter in a shed with cattle.

Local figure skater wins prestigious award

Sparwood’s Bree Chardonnens named B.C./Yukon STARSkate Athlete Of The Year

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read