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UDAIPUR, India — A five-month-old dog found smothered in rock-hard tar was barely recognizable when rescue workers found him but, after two days of rescue efforts, was finally able to walk free.
The heartbreaking video has gone viral, making its way into animal lovers' hearts around the world.
A passerby noticed the dog smothered in tar that had spilled near a construction site and called Animal Aid Unlimited, an organization that rescues animals in Udaipur, India. When workers arrived, they found the dog covered in tar and leaves, unable to move and stuck to the ground.
"There was no way he could have come out on his own, without any intervention," Claire Abrams, with the animal welfare group, told CNN.
They immediately started rubbing vegetable oil on the dog, whose pleading eyes kept looking around at his rescuers. It took about four hours of effort from workers massaging oil into the dog's fur before they could remove him from the ground. They captured the rescue on camera and the video has racked up over 1.5 million views.
Workers took the dog to the Animal Aid shelter, where they finished removing all the tar. The dog, affectionately called “Tar Baby,” is able to run, walk and play again, according to CNN.
Animal Aid shelter rescues over 4,000 animals each year. More of their rescue stories are available here.