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

North Island Eagles select head coaches for upcoming season

“We appreciate the commitment each of you make to the club and to your teams”

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Hardy Bay Senior Citizens’ new greenhouse

“if it wasn’t for the volunteers this project wouldn’t have happened”

Port Hardy Pride Day will arrive in September

Port Hardy will be celebrating Pride Day on Sept. 14 at Carrot Park.

Woss man attacked by black bear on remote logging road

“we are just monitoring the situation now”

Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see previous cuts to public libraries reversed

The Ministry of Education has, over 10 years, reduced provincial library funding by $6 million.

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read