Dogs have been faithful human companions for centuries. People rely on these noble creatures for their instinct, loyalty, and friendship, while dogs also depend on their owners. It follows that if dogs are a man’s best friend, then man should also be a dog’s best friend.
Nevertheless, for an eight-month-old puppy named Polo from Manitoba, Canada, that logic proved unreliable. On Sunday, May 7, in Red Sucker Lake First Nation, a group of kids, ages 10 to 12, scooped Polo off a porch and threw him into a scorching fire pit.
His burns were so severe that doctors couldn’t identify his breed or mix.
When Polo limped home, his family found him severely burned. They 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 flew Polo 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.”
According to CBC News, Polo was rushed to Tuxedo Animal Hospital on Monday and 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 all the excruciating damage done, surviving the fire was just sheer luck. If it wasn’t for Polo’s thick coat of fur that protected his skin, he wouldn’t have had a chance to live at all.
Polo’s family had to make a hard decision.
Though the family is thankful that the organization was able to treat Polo, they are surrendering the puppy to a rescue group in Vancouver to be put up for adoption. They don’t believe that Polo will be safe living with them in Manitoba anymore.
Polo was believed to be targeted because one of the children in the family was being bullied, and the puppy became an innocent casualty of that aggression.
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.
Though Polo suffered agonizing burns, his spirit never wavered.
Powell told Today that he “is such a little ham. Despite his hardships, he’s a happy guy.”
Occasionally, he 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, Polo’s now 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.
It’s difficult work, but she loves it. 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.”