First, the bad news: Some unfathomable a-hole set a dog on fire last week.
Now, the good news: Thanks to some kick-ass animal lovers in Houston, he was rescued from the streets, given top-notch emergency medical care and now has a good prognosis. The good news comes with a price tag, though, so we're hoping you can pitch in to cover some of the costs for this remarkable little dude who goes by the name of Pier.
The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care picked him up from the Hobby Airport area last week, and the staff there immediately e-mailed the Scout's Honor rescue group, according to Scout's Honor co-director Leslie Hillendahl. He had suffered second- and third-degree burns to 45 percent of his body. Damn.
The group rushed the black lab -- estimated to be one or two years old -- to the Vergi emergency care clinic, where he was stabilized before being transported to the burn unit at Texas A&M's animal hospital.
Thanks to the quick actions of all involved, Pier is making an unexpectedly speedy recovery.
"It's just a miracle, almost, that he's progressing as quickly as he is," Hillendahl said. Equally astonishing is the fact that Pier still has a sunny disposition. (We're pretty sure that if someone set us on fire, we would go through life biting everyone in the face.)
"Everybody loves him up there," Hillendahl says. "He's a total, typical lab -- you know, loves everybody, despite the amount of pain he's been in."
She adds, "We've seen a lot of bad stuff; this is hands-down the worst."
The amazing thing is, while Hair Balls has written our fair share of stories about despicable animal cruelty, the stories almost always show the best humanity has to offer, and not just the dark side. Hillendahl says Scout's Honor heard from a huge number of kind souls offering to take Pier in, so he'll have a forever home as soon as he gets out of the hospital.
"I really feel like all the good vibes that have been going his way had to have had something to do with the progression on his recovery," Hillendahl says.
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For the most, he's expected to live a normal life. But, much like our weird Uncle Hershel, he'll have to wear a T-shirt and sunscreen for the rest of his days, because the hair will never grow back in certain spots.
"So Hair Balls," you say, "after reading this heartachingly beautiful story, I feel compelled to donate a few bucks -- how can I do so?"
We're glad you asked. You can go to Scout's Honor's donation page to give. And in the meantime, keep sending those good vibes Pier's way.