Hope, the Tortured Pug Who Made Headlines, Is on the Mend

The outpouring of support for one dog has inspired a local government to set up an abused-dog fund. Well done, Hope.


For those who haven’t heard the story of Hope, the Pug mix who was seen wandering in circles in Parker County, Texas, early this month, brace yourself.

The dog was spotted on a road, abandoned, confused, scared, and clearly in pain. Someone had stretched her tongue out, clamped her jaws shut, and bound her muzzle tightly with electrical tape. Animal control officers on horseback and residents scoured the area until they finally located her, hours later.

She couldn’t eat, drink, or pant. She was bleeding, dehydrated, and overheating. She had five deep gashes in her body, deliberate cuts from a knife. And her tongue — her tongue was grotesquely swollen from the ordeal, protruding from her taped-shut muzzle.

“I thought, ‘What in the world does she have in her mouth?’” said the woman who spotted the dog, as reported by CBSDFW.com. “I got closer to her, I couldn’t believe my eyes; I thought, is that her tongue?”

Said Karen Kessler, Parker County Sheriff Department’s animal control supervisor, “I see a lot of horrific stuff. I have never seen anything to this magnitude. Somebody should recognize this dog, somebody should know where this dog came from. We need them to call to find leads to find out who did such a crime to this animal.”

Once she was receiving the proper care, Hope recovered quickly. Unbelievably, vets were able to save her tongue, and the wounds on her body were closed with more than 100 stitches. She began to eat solid food and wag her tail. As the story of Hope spread through social media, authorities were soon swamped with calls from around the world from people seeking to adopt her.

“The Netherlands, London, Illinois, Arizona,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler told KVUE.com. “The list goes on. Indiana, Iowa.”

Presents arrived, too, as did donations — more than $9,000 — as Hope’s story gained traction. Three days after she was found, she was adopted by a local family, Charlie and Kit Moncrief. Through it all, Hope remained kind and affectionate to people, and “has showed no signs of withdrawing from people due to her torture,” said Fowler.

She is recovering very fast,” veterinary technician Rhonda Sears told Dallas News. “More importantly, she is recovering in a positive way. She isn’t fearful of people like most dogs would be after going through such a traumatic experience.”

A week later, the prognosis was even better.

“She’s healing emotionally, too,” Sears said. “She’s kind of like a flower unfolding. She kind of brightens up every day.”

But the culprits have not been found, despite a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

We hope to see a just end to the story of Hope, with the torturers standing before a judge — but it’s been some days yet, with no new information. Surely someone knows something about the friendly Pug mix.

For now, there is one good thing to come out of the story besides Hope’s recovery and adoption: Last week, the Parker County commissioners set up an abused-dog fund, which they’ve stocked with remainder of Hope’s donations after her care was complete. The money in the fund will go to pay for “medical treatment or reward money for other abused animals,” according to the Weatherford Democrat.

That’s a legacy to be proud of.

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