Dog Unrecognizable After Rescue From the Meat Trade: 'Made It Through'

A dog's journey from meat trade victim to happy family pet has melted hearts online this week.

Captured in Bali, Indonesia, by charity Mission Paws'ible, Lucy was discovered in an abandoned construction site at just 3 months old.

According to an investigation by the animal welfare organization Four Paws International, an estimated 1 million dogs are killed for their meat annually in Indonesia.

A dish containing dog meat can be bought at local markets for around 25,000-35,000 IDR, which equates to around $2.

While there are some laws and regulations in certain regions of the country, explicit bans do not cover the whole country, and calls continue to ban the practice throughout Indonesia.

Lucy the rescue dog
Dog meat survivor Lucy was discovered in an abandoned construction site in Bali, Indonesia. Mission Paws’ible

Founded in 2015, Mission Paws'ible works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome neglected and abused animals in Bali.

The team discovered Lucy after she was reported by a lady feeding other strays in the area.

"Her mouth was wired shut—trademarks of a dog meat thief," founder of Mission Paws'ible Prue Barber told Newsweek. "We can only imagine the pain and trauma this was causing her. She was emaciated and dehydrated because she was unable to eat or drink."

Lucy was skittish and terrified of humans, but a professional dog catcher managed to get hold of her and she was taken to a local vet who was able to assess her.

"The first week was focused on making her comfortable. She was on an IV drip. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with parvo, a virus that is often fatal in young dogs. By miracle Lucy survived," explained Barber.

Parvo or canine parvovirus (CPV) is a contagious disease that attacks cells in dogs' intestines, causing them to become dehydrated and weak. Most deaths from parvo happen within 48 to 72 hours after symptoms begin. Highly contagious, dogs should be vaccinated against CPV from the age of six weeks.

Lucy was also diagnosed with distemper—another potentially fatal virus for young dogs. This is when Barber made the decision to move her into her own home.

"I nursed her through it, around the clock. She was on an IV in my home. I believed she needed consistent love and care to heal," she explained. "It worked. She made it through."

Lucy the rescue dog
Lucy today, now recovered she lives with Mission Paws’ible founder Prue Barber who says that the pup "shows so much joy." Mission Paws’ible

Today, Lucy lives with Barber and 23 other dogs. As the Mission Paws'ible facility is still being built, there are other dogs in boarding and foster care waiting for adoption—with about 30 dogs currently looking for homes.

"She still holds severe trauma, but she also shows so much joy," she said. "It took over six months to touch her without [her] biting. Today she jumps on the bed every morning to wake me, pawing at my head. She will flip and roll on her back, a sign of complete trust."

Lucy does not like to be picked up or bathed, but Barber understands and gives her the space she needs.

"Lucy is now a member of my family and pack. Considering the journey she has been through, I could never move her to an unfamiliar home or humans unless they were incredibly accepting of a dog that needs time and distance," she explained. "Lucy is a very precious soul. I could never break her heart considering the journey she has been on."

Barber and her team shared Lucy's story on TikTok where it has over 1.2 million views.

As viewers rushed to share their praise for the rescue team, Barber hopes that sharing their content will help grow their all-important support network.

"Lucy has taught me, and our followers, that you need patience and kindness to allow another being to find themselves, find their safe place and to ultimately trust and love again," said Barber.

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