The Helen Woodward Animal Center is an animal shelter located in Rancho Santa Fe, California that holds a passionate belief that “animals help people and people help animals through trust, unconditional love, and respect creates a legacy of caring.” The center has seen dozens of animal cruelty cases, but the most recent horrific case of a dog with a deformed mouth may be the worst they have ever seen. 

Dwayne, a two-year-old Pointer mix, was found on the streets of Tijuana by a rescuer. The poor dog was desperately scrounging for food while local residents threw scalding hot water and stones at him, disgusted by his deformities. The rescuer then discovered Dwayne’s original guardian, who had bound his mouth with a cruel wire-muzzle and regularly kicked him with sticks, was serving jail time for an unrelated offense. Dwayne was left to fend for himself on the streets.


To make matters worse, Dwayne was further wounded when he was attacked by two large dogs, causing severe head injuries and nearly removed his ears.

Despite all of the horrific treatment Dwayne has endured, he has nothing but love to offer each person he meets. Dwayne lowers his head, offering a lick and will gently press his body against anyone who comes close. 


 This sweet pup is inspiring employees at Helen Woodward Animal Center with his kind heart. His name is in honor of Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson because of the strength and kindness the dog has shown.


The center is determined to give Dwayne the life he deserves. Specialists will repair his severely malformed front leg and elbow, and facial reconstruction surgery is being scheduled to repair the extreme mutilation of his nose and mouth.



If you are able to contribute to Dwayne’s recovery, please donate here. Almost $14,000 has already been raised to give Dwayne the reconstructive surgery he deserves to match his kind heart!



Thanks to an Arizona-based donor, the rescue has already taken care of Dwayne’s immediate head wounds and had him neutered. But Dwayne’s other injuries are far more intense and expensive. The Helen Woodward Center notes that “His front right leg had been kicked out of the socket so many times, the dog’s elbow protruded at a painful angle. His misshapen muzzle made his breathing labored and drinking nearly impossible.”

“It’s unbelievable. This beautiful dog took all the despicable abuse and neglect man can show to an animal and still he wouldn’t turn on mankind. Helping animals like this is at the heart of Helen Woodward Animal Center. This is what we stand for and we’ll do everything we can to care for him and protect him,” said Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO Mike Arms.


Dwayne is currently at a foster family’s house, so he doesn’t have to endure a cage at the shelter. The Helen Woodward Animal Center says that they will provide updates for each of Dwayne’s treatments and will also be made available for adoption once he has fully recovered.

Please be sure to share this story with a friend! The more people who read Dwayne’s story, the better chance he has at a full recovery.

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All image source: Helen Woodward Animal Center/Facebook