GOOD NEWS
08/28/2015 04:49 pm ET Updated Aug 28, 2015

Pit Bull With Half A Face Gets New Nose, Helps Other Abuse Victims

We're rooting for you, special girl!

The damage inflicted on Khalessi the pit bull by her previous owners is, finally, being undone.

The sweet dog who lost half her face -- including her nose and jaw, as well as full use of her back legs -- to abuse, has been through her first round of reconstructive surgery. 

This week, veterinarians at the Hays Towne Veterinary Hospital in Southwest Florida built Khalessi a new nose, removing her tusk-like upper canine teeth in the process.

Surgeon Colby Burns explained to WFLA that the procedure would involve "creating two openings so she has a nasal passage," while making the new nose out of tissue from elsewhere on Khalessi's face.

On Thursday night, after the five-hour surgery, veterinarian Kerry Slomcenski posted to Facebook that Khalessi was "sleeping comfortably" -- for the first time in a while.

"She has not been able to do this in a very long time because her tongue used to block her airway when she tried to sleep," Slomcenski wrote.

Stephanie Paquin -- founder of the nonprofit Passion 4 Pits, who has been caring for Khalessi since getting her out of a Florida shelter about two weeks ago -- is breathing a little easier, too.

Khalessi is far from done with her treatment and will remain hospitalized for another week, Paquin told The Huffington Post.

"She is going to need surgery to repair her legs as well," she said.

But even now, while she's in the thick of getting better herself, Khalessi is helping others of her kind. 

For one, folks are signing up to take foster dogs into their homes as a result of learning about Khaleesi. This is letting Passion 4 Pits get more dogs out of the shelter. The foster-based group needs its dogs to have a safe place to stay while being treated and readied for adoption.

And even those who aren't able to house a doggie for some time have been looking for other ways to contribute, for example, financially.

For those: Paquin has set up Khalessi's Warriors Foundation, the proceeds of which will be used to take care of dogs who are victims of cruelty and abuse.

Because of all this support, Paquin was able to save a new dog, named Trooper. He is a loving, friendly dog with wounds all over his legs, who came from the same shelter as where Khalessi wound up, and then got out of.

Trooper is now also in the hospital, being made well.

It's likely a long road ahead of him, too. But a much more hopeful one than had he been left behind. 

Paquin chalks Trooper's rescue up to Khalessi.

She's excited to see what else lies ahead for this special dog, and because of her.

"This amazing little girl has brought people together from every corner of the world and she has forever changed my life and the rescue," Paquin says. "I feel very blessed that she came into our lives."

 

PHOTO GALLERY
These Pit Bulls Need Homes!

We've reached out to the Orange County Sheriff's Office for information about the investigation into Khalessi's abuse, and will update this piece with any new information. 

Get in touch at arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost.com if you have an animal story to share!

 

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this piece, an explanation of the surgery provided by Dr. Colby Burns was mistakenly attributed to Dr. Kerri Slomcenski.

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