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This Puppy Was Starved, Set On Fire, Then Thrown In A Dumpster. His Recovery? Grab Your Tissues

by Cassandra Morris
Cassandra is the Senior Editor of Original Content. She loves sweet tea, binge-watching Antiques Roadshow, and petting puppies.

The cruelty of some people can be absolutely baffling sometimes. When I look at puppies, so full of energy and love, it shocks me to know that there are people capable of inflicting pain on something so innocent.

That’s why I was stunned when I heard the story of beautiful little Phoenix and his tremendous rescue.

On a subzero night in Minnesota, in a remote garbage dump, a passing truck driver made a gruesome discovery: at the bottom of a fire-consumed dumpster huddled an abandoned, five-month-old puppy — whimpering, starving, and charred black. The big-hearted truck driver, Clayton, wasted no time diving in and scooping up the crying pup, burning his hands, and singeing his hair in the process.

Clayton rushed the injured pup to a rescue center, where veterinarians whisked him to emergency care.

It’s unknown who inflicted this cruelty upon the puppy. “He had to be put in there by a very, very sick person,” said Clayton. The father of three and longtime dog owner had difficulty choking back tears as he recounted Phoenix’s rescue.

Later, the wounded pup was moved to a different facility, where he was given the name Phoenix. In Greek mythology, the phoenix was a bird who was consumed by flames, but was reborn from its own ashes. Considering his amazing story, the name is very appropriate for this brave pup.

Be sure to watch the video below on Phoenix’s recovery, and please SHARE if this story touched your heart!

Clayton snapped this photo of little Phoenix just moments after lifting him from the burning dumpster.

Clayton snapped this photo of little Phoenix just moments after lifting him from the burning dumpster.
Clayton Van Wert

Veterinarians had to shave Phoenix's fur to assess the damage to his skin below.

Veterinarians had to shave Phoenix's fur to assess the damage to his skin below.

Vets realized that the puppy's fur had been doused in accelerant, proving the fire had definitely been intentional.

Vets realized that the puppy's fur had been doused in accelerant, proving the fire had <i>definitely</i> been intentional.

In addition to being burned and abandoned, Phoenix was severely malnourished. He weighed a slight 19 lbs, half of what a dog his age should weigh.

In addition to being burned and abandoned, Phoenix was severely malnourished. He weighed a slight 19 lbs, half of what a dog his age should weigh.

The most serious burns were on Phoenix's knees and paws, requiring strict bandaging and pain medication for the little dog.

The most serious burns were on Phoenix's knees and paws, requiring strict bandaging and pain medication for the little dog.

Most recently, Phoenix had to undergo surgery for skin grafting, as vets have had trouble keeping his wounds closed.

Most recently, Phoenix had to undergo surgery for skin grafting, as vets have had trouble keeping his wounds closed.

Phoenix now splits his time between the South Hyland Pet Hospital and the home of his vet, Dr. Vicki Schulz.

Phoenix now splits his time between the South Hyland Pet Hospital and the home of his vet, Dr. Vicki Schulz.

Authorities are doing all they can to find who could have done this to little Phoenix.

Authorities are doing all they can to find who could have done this to little Phoenix.

Phoenix is now on the road to recovery, but it's going to be a long and bumpy journey. But with all of the love and care surrounding this brave dog, he's sure to rise again very soon.

Phoenix is now on the road to recovery, but it's going to be a long and bumpy journey. But with all of the love and care surrounding this brave dog, he's sure to rise again very soon.

Be sure to watch the video below, and please SHARE the story of Phoenix’s journey.

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