(CNN) — Never mind cats having nine lives. A stray pooch in Washington State has used up at least three of her own after being hit by a car, apparently whacked on the head with a hammer in a misguided mercy killing and then buried in a field — only to survive.
That’s according to Washington State University, where the dog — a friendly white-and-black bully breed mix now named Theia — has been receiving care at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Four days after her apparent death, the dog managed to stagger to a nearby farm, dirt-covered and emaciated, where she was found by a worker who took her to a vet for help.
She was taken in by Moses Lake, Washington, resident Sara Mellado.
“Considering everything that she’s been through, she’s incredibly gentle and loving,” Mellado said, according to WSU News.
“She’s a true miracle dog and she deserves a good life.”
Theia is only one year old but the dog’s brush with death did not leave her unscathed. She suffered a dislocated jaw, leg injuries and a caved-in sinus cavity — and still requires surgery to help her breathe.
The veterinary hospital’s Good Samaritan Fund committee awarded some money to help pay for the dog’s treatment, but Mellado has set up a fundraising page to help meet the remaining cost of the dog’s care.
She’s also created a Facebook page to keep supporters updated. Donors have already surpassed the $10,000 target, inspired by Theia’s tale of survival against the odds.
On the fundraising page, Mellado writes, “She is in desperate need of extensive medical procedures to fix her nasal damage and reset her jaw. I agreed to foster her until she finally found a loving home.”
She is dedicated to making sure Theia gets the medical attention she needs, Mellado adds, and wants to “make sure she gets placed in a family where this will never happen to her again!”
Any additional funds raised will be “paid forward” to help other animals.
Theia is not the only animal to apparently rise from the grave in recent weeks.
A cat in Tampa, Florida, found seemingly dead after he was hit by a car in January, showed up alive in a neighbor’s yard five days after he was buried by his owner.
The cat was in bad shape, with maggots covering open wounds on his body and a ruined left eye, but remarkably survived with the help of treatment from the Humane Society.