Phoenix and Karma Find Hope and Love After a Life of Cruelty

The victims of unspeakable horror, these two rescue dogs are now in the loving care of vets working to restore their health and their trust.


Warning: This post contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Oh gosh, okay, I don’t even know where to start with this one. It’s a heartbreaking and heroic story about two dogs, which is so extreme you’d think it was a movie.

But it’s not.

Karma and Phoenix are two real-life dogs who’ve endured brutality and horror beyond what I ever thought possible. Their story starts in a village in Romania, where the two dogs roamed as wild and feral. They received food and care from strangers, but didn’t belong to anyone. Regardless, they managed to survive, living peaceful if not comfortable lives. And then everything changed.

No one knows what happened next, only that someone — for no reason at all — decided to take advantage of the dogs. Of the two dogs, Phoenix took the brunt of the brutality, suffering severe maiming of his face that left his nose hanging off, his entire lower jaw destroyed, and his teeth in total disarray. Worse, however, is the soul-wound that may never heal — Phoenix’s trust in humans was broken. Karma managed to escape the abuse, but returned to protect his littermate.

Fortunately, the cruelty that befell Phoenix and Karma is dwarfed by the kindness in the world, and through a cooperative effort, the dogs were transported to the capital of Romania to undergo treatment. Karma, who guarded Phoenix with desperate fierceness, was separated from Phoenix for the sake of both dogs — their anxiety was so intense that when anyone approached them together, they became so aggressive Phoenix had to be tranquilized to yield to the care of veterinarians.

Since their rescue, the dogs have been treated with compassion, and with love and patience, they are slowly learning how to trust people again. Currently Karma is being rehabilitated with trainers while Phoenix undergoes a series of surgeries to reconstruct his face.

Keep up to date on their journey to one day finding a forever home by joining their Facebook page. In the meantime, send them some love from Dogster.

And remember that even though stories like these might leave us shaken to our cores, there is so much more kindness than cruelty in the world. After all, there’s you and me and all the folks who helped these two dogs — so keep the faith.

Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Dogster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!

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