The end of summer had a dramatic conclusion with the admission of Raha to Home for Life. Raha, whose name means " free" and " peaceful" in Persian was accepted at Home for Life from the Vafa Animal Shelter. He is believed to be not more than age 3, a male ( now neutered) and a mix of sighthound and Anatolian Shepherd, a type of shepherd dog found in the Mideast. About 10% of Home for Life's total animal population is from foreign countries. Read our blog post about why Home for Life helps these special cats and dogs: http://homeforlifesanctuary.blogspot.com/2016/01/home-for-lifes-international-rescues.html.
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Home for Life has helped many victims of cruelty over our 20 years of existence but Raha is one of the most extreme cases of abuse we have ever seen. Raha was living as a stray, but friendly street dog when some vicious people put firecrackers in his mouth, taped it shut and then set the firecrackers off. It was a near miracle that Raha survived the initial assault but the attack left him with severe facial damage and disfigurement. When Home for Life received him in early August, he was able to open his mouth only 1 centimeter and could eat only a liquid diet. Though the Vafa staff had rescued him from the streets after hearing about his plight, they care for over 700 dogs at their two shelters, and realized Raha would need specialized medical help and ongoing care to survive. He as very underweight, was suffering from a severe infection in his mouth and was slowly starving to death because he was unable to take in enough nutrients to heal and maintain himself. See the Imgur album with photos by Mark Luinenburg taken the day after Raha arrived at Home for Life here: Raha's fire cracker recovery.
Upon his arrival in the United States, and at Home for Life, we sought immediate medical care for him at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. You can view these short videos, narrated by the UMVMC's head of surgery Dr Betty Kramek, below to learn all the details of the care Raha received while hospitalized, the CT scan which provides a 3D image of his skull and the damage he suffered, and learn more about the plan for his further care. We will continue to post updates about Raha and his care both on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites.