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

Storm causes blackout across northern B.C.

Lightning and downed trees knocked out power for more than 4,000 Terrace customers

Skeena Voices | No villager left behind

Business owner Boota Singh uses 10 per cent of his profit to fund cancer and eye care in India

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Most Read