Two women spend months trying to rescue an abused pug who lived halfway across the world

July 5, 2017 4:34 pm Last Updated: July 5, 2017 4:34 pm


Some animal rescues are easier than others. The rescue of Puggy, an abused and disabled pug, was anything but easy, and it certainly wasn’t a simple task.

At the beginning of 2017, Izabella St. James, who is known as The Pug Queen, heard from one of her followers about a pug in Iran who was in needed of rescuing. The pug, now appropriately named Chance, was less than a year old and had suffered extreme abuse from his family, which had left him with an untreated broken neck.

“She sent me a video of a pug who was crippled, and when I saw his little face, I was crying.”

PUGGY IS COMING TO AMERICA!!! ON MONDAY!!! 🙌😝 After days of trying to figure out how to get this disabled pug from Tehran to Los Angeles, Katy @kkargosha the Iranian pug mom from New Orleans and I realized that she was our only option. Cargo would not take PUGGY nor would I fly him that way, it would me months to get permission to go to Iran, and no one wanted to volunteer to bring him here even if we paid them. THE FLIGHT IS BOOKED!!! Katy flies out of New Orleans tomorrow at 5:50pm to Washington DC, then an 8 hour flight to Frankfurt, and finally a 5 hour flight to TEHRAN. She will be at the airport there for 5 hours and the dog helper will bring her PUGGY. She flies back to Frankfurt, then a nearly 12 hour flight to Los Angeles where I will pick PUGGY up! The flight cost $1485. All receipts will be posted! KATY YOU ARE A HERO!!! THIS IS HAPPENING GUYS!!!! We are saving an abused, disabled, discarded little pug from Iran! Please keep sharing his story!! Actual ticket info on (link in my profile!) Or donate via PayPal to: If anything goes wrong every single donation to the fundraiser will be refunded but we don't think anything will go wrong!!! See details below and another video of precious PUGGY!! PUGGY we are coming for you!! I love you already!!! ❤️😘🙌💪 #MiracleInProgress

A post shared by THE PUG QUEEN (@thepugqueen) on

St. James told The Dodo that the woman, Katy Kargosha, who is a dual citizen of Iran and the United States, asked St. James if there was anything doctors could do for the poor puppy, who wore a “horrendous neck brace.” The Pug Queen was eager to help and urged Kargosha to get the dog to her, even offering to pay for the flight. But there was one problem, the dog was in Iran.

Post surgery. You can see he is skin and bones.

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Friday, May 26, 2017


For months Kargosha and St. James continued to exchange messages about the dog, trying to figure how to transport Chance to the United States. The two were unable to persuade anyone to fly from Iran to the United States with the dog. The pug’s chances for a better life were looking slim.

“If there’s a pug that needs to be rescued, everyone step out of my way. I’m not deterred by anything,” St. James told The Los Angeles Times.

When I think of a MOTHER I think of someone who LOVEs unconditionally. Someone who is NURTURING, caring, tender. Someone…

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Sunday, May 14, 2017


In the meantime Chance was taken away from his abusive family and handed over to a local animal rescue in Iran. Once they saw the pug’s condition — a nearly broken neck and spinal injury — they operated on Chance. Unfortunately, this only made his condition worse and as a result, the family fostering the puppy had to return him to his original family, who later left him on the side of the road to fend for himself.

A few days after this photo was taken Chance finally arrived in the United States.

YES IT IS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.This is how CHANCE was left to die on the side of the road in Iran. By his "family." He…

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Thursday, June 15, 2017


When Kargosha and St. James found out about Chance’s situation they knew they had to do something quick. The two realized Chance’s only hope of survival was if Kargosha made the nearly 19-hour trip from her hometown of New Orleans to Tehran, Iran where Chance lived. Kargosha was the obvious choice because she has dual citizenship and can travel freely between Iran and the United States.

St. James and Chance after he arrived in Los Angeles.

The first moment holding his frail little body.

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Tuesday, June 6, 2017


But Chance’s arrival didn’t mean he was out of the woods yet. “He was just skin and bones,” Kargosha told The Dodo. “I was crying the entire flight back.”

When Chance arrived with Kargosha in Los Angeles, where St. James lives, he weighed around 8 pounds, was unable to move his neck, and could only drink water through a syringe. St. James took Chance to a veterinarian and a neurosurgeon, who was shocked that the dog was able to move and breathe at all. The pup’s condition was worse than anticipated and the only hope he had for a normal life was a risky surgery.

Rather than go with the doctor’s other option for Chance, euthanasia, St. James agreed to the surgery. “They [the vets] had said, ‘If he’s going to die, he’ll die within those first 12 hours,’” The Pug Queen told The Dodo.

Chance survived.

Home sweet CHANCE.

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Despite having the occasional bad day and a long road to recovery in front of him, Chance has improved immensely since arriving at his new home.

He has already received a Hollywood-style makeover.

Introducing CHANCE!

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Thursday, June 1, 2017


And has had his fair share of well-deserved Puppuccinos.

THE AFTERMATH!! How could you not love this face?!

Posted by THE PUG QUEEN on Thursday, June 8, 2017

While the risk of a setback is still a reality, St. James hopes that her little pug will continue to make improvements so he can go on to live a much healthier and happier life than the one he had in Iran.

You can follow Chance’s story on The Pug Queen’s Facebook and donate to a crowdfunding page St. James set up to help with the cost of nursing Chance back to health.