What’s On Blog

Millie & Mitya: how two Russian rescues found new hope

5th March
In early 2020, we begun a rescue mission to save two facially-disfigured dogs from Russia. Both had experienced horrific cruelty at the hands of humans, and yet they remain the most loving and resilient of souls. They teach us so much about forgiveness, love and compassion. It was our utter privilege to give these dogs the help, homes and treatment they deserved.

Here at Wild at Heart Foundation, we’re no strangers to dogs with more unusual needs than most. Familiar as we are with the brutal conditions in which millions of strays the world over live in, it’s sadly ceased to be surprising for us when we hear of dogs who’ve suffered horrendous wounds at the hands of humans. Limbs lost in traps or car accidents. Ears cut off. Eyes shot or stabbed. Bodies peppered with air-rifle pellets. Noses gouged out.

It was this last kind of abhorrent abuse that led us to Peggy. In December 2018, just as Christmas fever was beginning to set in, we were contacted about a sorry tale that we just knew we had to help with. A puppy had been discovered in a field, abandoned in a box with her ears and tail slashed to ribbons, and – most disturbing of all – her entire nose gouged out. That this was the work of human hands was immediately obvious, though the reasons for committing such a horrendous act of mindless cruelty are, as always, near-impossible to fathom. What we did know was that this was a dog who would be overlooked by most, written off as “too damaged” and therefore not worthy of saving.

In spite of everything that had happened to her, Peggy remained a sweet, loving and happy dog.  In January 2019, Peggy flew to the UK where she was treated at an expert facility, and found the perfect family to give her the love she so sorely deserved. With her amputated ears and tail, and her tailor-made nose, Peggy certainly is a one-of-a-kind dog. So it was a truly amazing moment when we learned that Peggy would be appearing on the first ever print cover of Wunderdog Magazine – talk about rags to riches! And thank goodness she did, because her story inspired the most remarkable chain of events…

Months after the magazine was first published, a copy found its way to Russia where it was read by Ksenia. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing! For just weeks before, Ksenia had come across a puppy whose nose, tail and ears had been cut off. Worried he wouldn’t be able to live a normal life, Mitya had visited a number of vets and even had surgery to insert false nostrils attempted; but to no success. So when she saw Peggy’s photo she knew that Wild at Heart Foundation would be able to help!

And Mitya was not alone. After reading Peggy’s success story, Wild at Heart Foundation superhero Kasey (Maggie‘s owner) began to see more stories of dogs who’d suffered similar injuries. She’d come across Millie, an innocent soul who’d suffered horrific injuries to the face. Millie was shot at close range, just like Maggie, and when Kasey saw her adorable face she knew she’d have to help.


Of course, we were only too happy to lend our support and embark upon what has now become our first rescue mission of a new decade!

And so we learned the stories of these two remarkable dogs:

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