A heartwarming video shows the journey of a blind, abandoned dog in Los Angeles as it’s given a second chance.
The video shows the filthy, frightened poodle mix, known as Fiona, as her vision is restored.
Volunteers at the animal rescue organization Hope for Paws let the cameras roll as they rescued the dog in a pile of trash near a body shop in South Los Angeles.
“She looked defeated. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t see, and was infested with fleas. She had definitely been there for a long time.” said Eldad Hagar, founder of the group.
Hagar and his wife, Audrey, nursed the dog back to health, cleaning and shaving her flea-infested fur. The Hagars, who have been rescuing animals for the past 12 years, immediately knew she was blind.
“Her eyes were white. We knew we had to get her to the veterinarian quick.” Hagar said in an interview with ABC News.
The Hagars took Fiona to Dr. Michael Chang, a Los Angeles veterinarian specializing in ophthalmology, who determined the dog was indeed blind. Hope for Paws posted Fiona’s story online, hoping to raise enough money for the expensive surgery.
“We received donations from all over the world and were able to raise $4,000 in four days,” Hagar said.
Viewers watch as Dr. Chang performs the surgery to replace the lens in the dog’s eye. Only one eye could be saved, but it was enough. The camera captures the transformation as a playful, tail-wagging Fiona runs around the doctor’s office.
Hope for Paws says it hopes Fiona’s story inspires people everywhere.
“We can’t turn our backs on the animals, because how would you feel if someone turned their back on you?” Hagar said. “Even if you are in horrible conditions … things will get better.”
Fiona has since been adopted and new video shows a very different Fiona.
“She’s a very happy dog with a great family. You would never know the conditions we found her in,” Hagar said. “It’s amazing to see her transform into the happiest dog in the world.”