One man was on his way to dispose of some rubbish when he heard a terrible noise. As he listened closer, he realized it was the cries of something in need. Then he saw a body stuck in some spilled tar.
In May 2017 Mike Frazier was taking garbage to a local dump in Yazoo County, Mississippi. It was an ordinary task that he’d no doubt completed on dozens of occasions before. But he would remember this particular trip for a lifetime.
As Frazier walked by a barn on his way there, a horrifying noise stopped him in his tracks. He heard the cries of something in desperate need of help. So Frazier decided to go and investigate.
But as he entered the property, a terrible sight confronted him. There was a pool of tar spilling out of a storage container. And as Frazier looked closer at the leakage, he realized that there was something glued to the ground.
It was at this point that Frazier recognized that the shape was that of a body. “He was embedded in tar,” he later told WLOX. “It was up under the center of that tar tank. And it was caked in tar about two to three inches thick.”
A closer looked revealed the form was that of a puppy. So, without hesitation, Frazier called FLY Animal Rescue. The local animal welfare organization helps abandoned, abused and homeless dogs. They seemed to be the perfect people to call for help.
Despite their experience in animal rescue, when a team from FLY arrived at the barn, they were shocked and sickened. By this point, the puppy was extremely distressed and was yelping out helplessly. He was unable to move, and one side of its body – including his face – was glued to the floor.
Rescuers knew that they had to help the dog as quickly as possible. But freeing the animal wasn’t going to be easy. In order to remove the puppy from the tar, his rescuers had to physically rip his fur away from the tar.
When they finally liberated the dog, the rescuers rushed him to the Yazoo Animal Medical Center. He had lost large chunks of fur to the tar, so the veterinarians sedated him and bathed him in coconut oil. They were quick to add that the stray pup was “not out of the woods yet.”
Staff from the animal hospital revealed that it would be an arduous task to remove all the tar from the dog. “It’s tedious and we can only do it while he is sedated,” they explained on Facebook. “He will be mostly bald once it’s all removed.”
So the animal had a long road to recovery ahead of him. But after several days, the dog was finally tar-free. And although he was almost completely hairless, it was then that the puppy’s cute personality began to shine through.
Throughout this time, the FLY team posted updates on the dog – later called Warrior – on their Facebook page. And the puppy proved to be popular with the organization’s 2,000 followers. As a result, adoption offers soon began flooding in.
In the end, there was so much interest in Warrior that FLY had to request that people stopped enquiring about him. “If everyone would please stop calling the Yazoo City Animal Hospital looking to adopt Warrior, I and the staff would appreciate it,” a post on Facebook read.
“He is not available at this time for adoption,” the statement went on to explain. “When he is available I will post him and then be accepting applications. I am grateful for the outpouring of love received for this little guy.”
Meanwhile, reporters from MSNewsNow contacted the owner of the barn where Warrior was found. According to them, the tar was still there. And when asked why, Mississippi’s County Road Manager said that there was no requirement to clean it up.
However, a spokesperson from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality later confirmed that they had sent a team to investigate. And they said that the property manager was advised to see to the situation and clear away the tar.
In the meantime, Warrior was continuing with his recovery. And soon he was well enough to go to a loving foster home. There, he could continue to grow up before finding his perfect forever home.
According to his foster family, Warrior was extremely playful and very inquisitive. He was on his way to becoming a whole new dog. His sore skin was gone and in its place sat a majestic mane of golden fur.
And watching his recovery made all their efforts worthwhile for Warrior’s rescuers. “There are moments like now that you look back at over 300 dogs saved by one very small rescue and you pat yourself on the back,” FLY rescuer Danielle Lynn Boatner wrote on Facebook.
After the hardest of starts in life, Warrior was finally learning what it meant to be loved. And in June 2017 FLY announced that Warrior would soon be up for adoption. It surely won’t be long before he finds his forever family.