Transformation Tale: Puffy-Cheeked Dog Freed from Fence Reveals Beautiful Face After Rescue, A Story of Renewed Hope

In the Spring of 2019, volunteers with Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) received a numbing call about a wounded pup tied to a fence. The team was instantly worried, but it wasn’t until they arrived on the scene that they realized the magnitude of the situation.

“His face was swelled up about [five] times the size it should be,” SRSL wrote in a Facebook post. “His wounds went unattended, and he sat there in the sun suffering.”

The team was astonished when they finally saw the helpless boy, and they jumped into action immediately to save him.

The pup, whom they’d later name Marco, had waited days for someone to find him. He was elated to see the rescue team but in too much pain to show it.

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“His entire body was filled with infection,” SRSL wrote. “We told him to hang on and to fight.”

The team cut Marco free from the fence and gently scooped him up into their arms. They drove him straight to their animal hospital to begin a long and uncertain treatment process.

“He had become septic,” SRSL wrote on Facebook. “He was in our clinic for months on an IV, antibiotics and other medications to get him back on track.”

The team had no way of knowing what Marco’s life was like before being abandoned, but his wounds suggested that he’d been subjected to dog fighting.

Despite his scary past, Marco seemed to still be filled with love. And as he fought to survive, he made sure his new friends knew how much he appreciated them.

“[T]he most amazing part is he still loves and trusts humans,” SRSL wrote. “He still looks to them for love and gives love.”

Luckily, Marco made a full recovery. Once swollen and unrecognizable, the pup’s true face eventually emerged. Finally, Marco looked and felt like himself again.

When he was deemed healthy enough, Marco went into foster care. His temporary mom, Katie, fell in love with Marco and adopted him shortly after.

Today, Marco’s living his best life alongside his amazing new family of humans and other SRSL dogs. And the trauma of his past is thankfully far behind him.

“Marco is spoiled rotten … like, really rotten,” Katie wrote in a note to SRSL later shared on Facebook. “Overall, he has a huge personality and is the perfect combination of silly and sweet and smart and protective.”

From stealing blankets before bedtime to surveilling the neighborhood from his favorite bay window, Marco’s days are now filled with excitement and comfort.

And his new family wouldn’t have it any other way.

“[H]e’s still just the cutest little man with his head tilts,” Katie shared on SRSL’s Facebook. “We love our baby boy, Marco!”


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