Teresa, a 2-year-old mixed breed, was rescued from Thailand in January after a man tried, and failed, to butcher her.
"Unfortunately in Thailand people do eat dog meat, and a person had a machete and he was trying to cut her head off," said Karen Quigley, one of the women who rescued Teresa.
The horrifying attack left Teresa with no nose and part of her top jaw missing. With help from Facebook, friends and a GoFundMe account, Quigley and her friend Michelle Weirich raised over $11,000.
That money was used to bring the mutilated animal to the United States, and to pay for surgery she needed to extract teeth and repair her tongue.
"They are just like people. They need extra care, but they need a chance. They all need a chance," said Weirich.
You'd think because of her devastating injury Teresa might not be able to chew or breathe well. But Karen says she manages just fine and doesn't seem to notice she's different.
"She can do everything and that's what's so remarkable about Teresa. She eats hard food, she eats wet food, really I haven't found anything she can't do. She's so amazing because she's really so happy. She wakes up happy, she loves to run in the yard," Karen said.
Teresa's surgeon, Dr. John Lewis of Northstar Vets in Robbinsville, says despite the cosmetic issues the dog is doing well otherwise.
"She can always breathe through her mouth, but the fact she can breathe through her nose just increases her quality of life. She's able to eat and drink, can play with toys, so that's the important thing," Lewis said.
Karen knows a little something about unattractive dogs. She owned Elwood, voted world's ugliest dog in 2007.
A special-ed teacher at Rowan College at Gloucester County, she'd like to get Teresa certified as a therapy dog to work with disfigured kids at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Until then, Teresa seems to be adjusting to life in America with Karen, her other rescue dogs and a pig named Templeton.
And apparently she can't get enough of her favorite snack: provolone cheese.
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