(WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES IN THIS ARTICLE)
This severely abused golden retriever was left to die after her meat was deemed inedible for the Korean market due to her rotting legs. Luckily, she was saved just in time, though she had to have all four legs amputated. In spite of that, she was “smiling” the day after surgery!
When Chi Chi, a golden retriever mix, was found outside a Korean meat market by rescuers from Nabiya Irion Hope Project, a South Korean animal welfare group, she was in a garbage bag and bound with wire. Her legs had been literally worn down to the bone!
It was believed that Chi Chi had been hung upside down and tortured daily in order to make her “meat” more tender. Dogs are a traditional delicacy in Korea, though dog meat is less popular among South Korea’s younger generations.
She was apparently dumped in a trash bag after her abusers found her meat to be uneatable when her legs began to rot as a result of an infection.
“She was found in a very well-known slaughter region in South Korea for dogs and cats,” Monique Hanson, foster and adoptions coordinator at Animal Rescue Media & Education (ARME), told The Dodo.
After being rescued, Chi Chi (which means “loving” in Korean) was rushed to a veterinary clinic in Seoul, where all four of her legs were amputated.
“She survived and the day after surgery she was trying to walk. She was smiling and wagging her tail,” said Shannon Keith, president of ARME.
She later spent two months at the veterinary clinic learning how to walk with her new prosthetic paws.
Now, Chi Chi has found a forever home on the other side of the globe—in Phoenix, Arizona—sharing a new life with owners Richard and Elizabeth Howell, their 12-year-old daughter, Megan, as well as three other family dogs.
“She can pretty much do anything a real dog can do except go up the stairs,” said Megan, according to the Associated Press.
The Howells came to know about Chi Chi’s plight on social media and went on to adopt her despite the fact that she still has a long road to recovery ahead.
They even raised $3,500 to help Chi Chi get specially made prosthetics. The prosthetics that had been fitted by vets in South Korea left Chi Chi with sores.
“The specialist is making her a second set at no extra cost, which is amazing,” Mrs. Howell told MailOnline.
“She is still getting used to them but is slowly getting the hang of it,” she added.
The Howells hope Chi Chi will become a therapy dog after having survived her ordeal.
“Maybe she can encourage people who have to have amputations themselves like soldiers and kids,” said Mr. Howell.