After having his snout hacked off with a machete, a 7-year-old rescue dog has found himself at a loving home with another special needs pup.
Wacku, the pup originally from the Philippines, is settling in nicely with his adopted brother Picasso, a corgi-pit bull mix with a twisted jaw.
"The cool thing about dogs is that looks don't matter. If it smells like a dog, it's a dog," their owner, Liesl Wilhardt, told SWNS. “Picasso and Wacku are exceptionally calm, tolerant and social dogs and they don't notice each other's physical differences.”
Although Wacku and Picasso don't look like normal dogs, Wilhardt says she barely notices a difference.
"[Wacku] climbs into my lap and licks and kisses me, which is a really weird feeling when he has no upper face," Wilhardt said. "Thankfully Wacku still has his tongue after the attack. He is able to swallow and eat, it's just very messy. And even though he's missing his nose, he sniffs and sniffs and sniffs, so maybe he can still smell."
Years ago, Wacku was guarding a bike for his owner when he was nearly hacked to death with a machete by a drunken passerby.
He was rescued by a local animal welfare charity and survived the violent ordeal, but lost his nose.
"He lost half his face," his new owner Wilhardt told SWNS. “When people see him, they are literally stopped dead in their tracks. They stare and are kind of horrified."
While the aggression against Wacku inspired a change in Filipino legislation, he spent the next five years in a shelter, with little hope for adoption due to his mangled face.
Last month, American charity Road Dogs and Rescue heard about Wacku’s tragic story and brought the poor pup back to the U.S.
Word eventually reached Wilhardt, the director of non-profit Luvable Dog Rescue, who knew Wacku would fit right in at her 55-acre home with eight other dog siblings.
"I had this gut feeling that he would be really happy with me and my dogs," she said. "It wasn't just how shocking his features are, but he seems so intelligent and social and I just thought, 'What a survivor.'"