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Dog Survives Gun Blast To Face, Has Reconstructive Surgery

BOSTON (CBS) - Luke, a stray dog from Lebanon, was rescued from the streets of Beirut after being shot in the face and left to die.

The international dog is now getting a new leash on life, after having surgery Tuesday at MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston to repair his disfigured face.

"We've repaired the damage to his face, which will help him breathe and eat comfortably for the rest of his life," said Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at the MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center, who performed Luke's surgery.

Luke is recovering after having facial reconstructive surgery at MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center. (Photo: MSPCA)

Pavletic, who called Luke's surgery "a success," used tissue from Luke's lip to patch over the hole in his skull and rebuild his nose.

Luke was taken in by Sweet Paws Rescue in Groveland, after being flown to the United States on Jan. 31. Volunteers from Animals Lebanon had rescued the badly-injured dog in Beirut.

The Sweet Paws Rescue team sought advice from area veterinarians about how best to repair the extensive damage to the 2-year-old dog's face and then sought out Pavletic, who is known internationally for his pioneering work in reconstructive surgery.

Pavletic has performed several reconstructive surgeries. He created a new nose for a former street cat and in 2011, he performed facial reconstructive surgery on a Brockton dog that was injured in an apparent attack by a skunk.

Pavletic said he's "astounded" that Luke survived the shooting in Lebanon.

"It appears he was shot at close range with ammunition similar to buckshot because there was so much damage to his skull and face. I'm astounded that he even survived," said Pavletic, who noted that Luke has been breathing through a hole in his snout because his nasal passages were seared closed by the blast.

Luke's surgery and hospital stay is expected to cost nearly $2,000.

Anyone who wishes to offset the cost of his surgery can donate to a special fund at Sweet Paws Rescue.

Luke is in foster care and will be available for adoption at a later date.

"The next step for Luke is to find his forever home," said Cynthia Sweet, founder, Sweet Paws Rescue, who has plans to take in 10 more homeless dogs from Beirut later in March.

Anyone interested in adopting Luke can email


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