Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Virginia took over the canine's care after learning about the abuse Sudi the dog suffered at an Iranian farm
Sudi the dog's life had a "sad and disgusting start," but it has made a "180 turn for the better," according to her caretakers.
This immense change to Sudi's fate is due to all the loving friends she has made since coming under the care of Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Virginia in August 2022.
Before the summer of 2022, Sudi lived in Iran, where her former owner abused her for not adequately performing her job as a farm dog.
"He cut everything. He cut half of her four limbs, ears, tail, and toes," Selma Barroso, Sudi's adoption coordinator and a volunteer with Homeward Trails, tells PEOPLE of what the dog endured, adding that the canine was put on a rope and dragged from the back of a truck, which led to a broken hip.
The abuse left Sudi with just one working leg, making mobility a challenge for the pet.
"Despite all this, she has left her past behind. She's the sweetest dog one can ever. And she's gorgeous. I called her my polar bear," Barroso says.
Barroso first learned about Sudi from two Iranian women in the U.S. who were connected to the rescuer who took over the dog's care in Iran. Sajjad Nadimii, who runs an animal rescue operation in Iran, saved the dog from the farm and provided her with treatment. After several months of caring for the pooch, it became clear to Nadimii that Sudi would need a hip replacement to heal fully, so the rescuer reached out to animal advocates in the U.S. and Europe to see if someone could take over the dog's care. Two women helping him with the search connected Nadimiii with Barroso, who encouraged Homeward Trails Animal Rescue to take in Sudi.
"Selma had learned of Sudi through a fellow rescue advocate and shared her story with me. She was hoping that Homeward Trails could take Sudi in and offer her the care and home she needed. Homeward Trails agreed to accept Sudi into our rescue in 2022 and to raise the funds needed for her ongoing care," Sue Bell, the executive director of Homeward Trails, tells PEOPLE.
Barroso has stayed committed to Sudi's happiness since the dog moved to the U.S. The devoted volunteer helped find the dog a foster home. She also assists with Sudi's vet appointments and treatments, of which there are many.
"She has endured several procedures on her legs with the goal of getting her walking on prosthetics. However, due to the nature of her injuries, which were more extensive than we knew, she continues to face more surgical procedures to her legs and hips to alleviate her pain and get her walking. We are currently looking at hip replacement surgery on top of ongoing work," Bell explains of Sudi's medical treatment thus far. "Thankfully, she is getting the best care ever with us and being seen by top-notch specialists in both surgery and prosthetics,"
In addition to helping Sudi's foster parents transport and care for the dog through these surgeries, Barroso has assisted with Sudi's physical therapy, laser therapy, stretching, and strength training.
Sudi needs to put on muscle mass before she is approved for hip replacement surgery, according to Barroso. Unfortunately, it's been difficult for Sudi to gain strength because of how her abuser cut off her paws.
"The bone was chopped in a diagonal form as if she's a ballerina. So she's standing on the tip of a bone. It's not comfortable," Barroso says of Sudi's attempts to use prostheses for long periods so she can gain muscle mass.
While Sudi is still working hard to regain what was cruelly taken from her, she has plenty of sweetness filling her days, too.
"The good news is that Sudi's foster specializes in fostering pregnant dog moms and their puppies, and then Sudi has found a job at this foster home. She helps her foster take care of the puppies," Barroso says, adding, "We call the foster's house Sudi's daycare."
Sudi adores looking after the little dogs and is good at teaching the puppies how to behave respectfully, making them even more adoptable. Sudi herself is still searching for her forever home. Barroso and Homeward Trails are looking for the perfect fit, knowing that Sudi still has more surgeries ahead.
"I've received some applications from people interested in adopting her, but for lots of reasons, nothing worked out. First of all, Sudi does not get along with large dogs. And she's extremely opinionated. If she doesn't want to do something, you better be prepared to try to lift a 100-lb. dog that is glued to the floor," Barroso shares.
The canine is also an "extremely happy" pet, per her adoption coordinator.
"She has no issue whatsoever with strangers. She is extremely docile. I believe she has totally forgiven humans for what her former owner did to her." Barroso adds.
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Bell, Homeward Trails founder, hopes that Sudi's journey brings attention to the animal cruelty present in the world and the powers of kindness trying to combat it.
"The suffering and abuse of animals across the world is ongoing and must stop. Simultaneously, there are the most loving, dedicated animal lovers across the world as well, and when we work together to help a dog like Sudi, it truly makes the world a smaller, more loving place. When people from totally different cultures who speak different languages who may never meet in person come together for an animal, it reminds us of just how much we truly have in common," she says.
To learn more about Homeward Trails, including how to adopt Sudi and support the rescue's work, visit the organization's website.
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