Two-year old Chi Chi is an adorable Golden Retriever who was fated to be killed for consumption in South Korea. The country’s black market dog meat industry is responsible for the deaths of two million dogs yearly.
One dog, however, escaped her doom thanks to a local rescue group and received the help she desperately needed for her severely wounded limbs. Today, with a new set of prosthetics and a doting family, she’s loving life.
When rescuers discovered Chi Chi in a garbage bin outside a dog meat farm, her paws were barely attached and her body was covered in cuts and bruises. The farmers deemed Chi Chi unfit for meat, because the tight wire bindings — used to keep her in captivity — ate away at her feet. So, they tossed her in the trash to die.
South Korean veterinarians were forced to amputate her paws to keep Chi Chi alive. Losing her feet didn’t stop Chi Chi from enjoying her newfound freedom, though. Just a day after surgery, she was up and about playing with her toys.
A California-based rescue named The Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME) brought Chi Chi to the United States to provide her with much-needed treatment and a loving home. ARME’s goal is to save unwanted and homeless animals, as well as educate the public about the extent of suffering animals endure.
Elizabeth and Richard Howell, a family in Arizona, learned about Chi Chi’s plight on Facebook in January and decided to adopt her and give her the special treatment she deserved. They raised $3,500 to get her the best possible care.
According to the DailyMail, the Howells already had three rescue dogs and weren’t looking to add to their family. However, Chi Chi’s story tugged at their hearts, and they couldn’t help but bring her home.
For the first couple of months, they had to wrap the pooch’s legs in bandages so she would be comfortable.
The prosthetics with which the Korean veterinarians fitted her gave her many sores, so the Howells sought a specialist who specialized in human prosthetics. When the special boots he prepared didn’t work, they found a prosthetist in Virginia who fitted her perfectly with prosthetic legs.
Since receiving her new prosthetics in September, Chi Chi has been able to run around with her canine siblings, and has a lot more mobility.
The family is now training Chi Chi, who is playful and loves people, to become a therapy dog for amputee patients. She is sure to inspire others with her perseverance.
To help ARME, and learn about their life saving work, visit their website. You can follow Chi Chi’s journey on Facebook.
Header images via Chi Chi of ARME / Facebook