Back in 2010, Wacku was living with his owner, a taxi stand owner. His owner had him around as a guard dog for the first two years of his life.
Unfortunately, in 2012, he was working as a guard dog like usual, when a drunk man attacked him with a machete. During the attack, the man chopped off Wacku’s snout and left him bleeding profusely.
His owner immediately rushed him to a veterinary hospital of students at the University of Eastern Philippines. There, they were able to stabilize the pup and save his life. Despite being alive, Wacku would never be the same again. Due to his injuries, he’d need specialized care that his owner was not equipped to provide him.
Wacku was taken to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) where the executive director, Anna Cabrera, wanted to use him as the organization’s mascot.
With Wacku’s tragic story and loving personality at the forefront of their movement, PAWS was able to amend the Philippine Animal Welfare Act of 1998 in October of 2013. Under the new amendment, animal abusers would face longer jail time and larger fines.
For five years, Wacku lived with PAWS and advocated for animal welfare. He watched as many dogs were taken in and then adopted into forever homes. Sadly though, no one was interested in adopting Wacku. As PAWS shared on Facebook, in the entirety of his stay, not one person inquired about adopting him, making him one of the longest staying dogs with the organization.
Wacku’s mutilated face and his heartbreaking story got the reaction PAWS hoped for. The Philippine government amended the country’s Animal Welfare Act in October of 2013, increasing fines and jail time for animal abusers. Wacku spent five years with PAWS, helping the Philippines’ neglected and abused animals get justice, but unable to find a forever home for himself.
Throughout his time with PAWS, Wacku stole the hearts of people around the Philippines. His story was so touching to people, that it even spread internationally – eventually capturing the heart of Lisel Wilhardt, the founder of Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Oregon.
Wilhardt, who was experienced with special needs dogs, adopted Wacku in 2018, finally giving him the loving forever home he deserved. According to the post by PAWS, Wilhardt said, “I first saw a post about Wacku on Instagram in early 2018 and I fell in love with his strong and beautiful spirit. When I learned he had already been waiting five years for a home, I just knew I needed to send in an application for him.”
PAWS shared about Wacku’s first days being in a home, describing that he was “curious but confused.” Wilhardt revealed to the organization that Wacku was sweet and loving, but seemed to suffer from PTSD from his life before being rescued or from the attack. She did note that they “accept these parts of his personality and love him unconditionally.”
It seems he truly found the perfect match in a home and waiting five long years was all worth it.