BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A French Mastiff that was brutally mutilated is getting a second chance at life.
Marley's Mutts, a California-based rescue organization has seen their fair share of horror. From dogs being shot to dogs being beaten and left for dead, they've witnessed things most people would never want to see. But when they learned what happened to Hooch, even they were taken aback.
Meet Hooch, a stray dog, with an amazing will to live.
He was recently rescued by Zach Skow with Marley's Mutts and brought to the San Joaquin Vet Hospital.
While trying to x-ray Hooch's mouth, they made an unexpected and disturbing discovery.
"His mouth didn't have a tongue. Absolutely no tongue at all, not even a stump," said Thomas J. Willis of San Joaquin Veterinary Hospital.
The vet and Marley's Mutt staff believe Hooch was used as a bait dog. His ears were chopped to the base and his tongue pulled and cut from his trachea to make him completely defenseless, so other dogs could attack him and learn how to fight to kill.
The vet staff is now attaching an external feeding tube to Hooch, which will finally allow him to take in much needed nutrients, a move that will save his life.
Now, Zach said he's focused on moving forward; something he said won't be a problem, as whoever did this stole Hooch's tongue, but not his heart.
"It tugs at my heart to think that somebody could do this to this poor dog," said Andrea Bertolucci of the San Joaquin Veterinary Hospital. "He's such a sweetheart and he just wants to be loved on."
On a larger level, Zach said Hooch should prove that animals can teach us life lessons about survival, love and forgiveness, and deserve to be treated as such.