She was left for dead. Now she's helping people with 4 prosthetic paws and a smile

Chi Chi was rescued by a family in Phoenix after being left for dead in South Korea and now spends her days as a certified therapy dog.

It's hard to tell which shines brightest, her golden hair or that beautiful smile she seems to have in every picture.

But it wasn't always all smiles for the 3-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever named Chi Chi. She was rescued from a very dark place.

According to her Facebook page, Chi Chi is originally from South Korea where she was kept in "immensely cruel conditions" while she awaited slaughter for the dog meat trade.

"Chi Chi, whose legs had rotted from the extreme abuse, was thrown away in a trash bag in the countryside where dogs are traditionally killed for meat," her story reads.

She was found in that trash bag, her legs severely damaged and rotting (WARNING: graphic image). She may have been in tremendous pain but, according to her Facebook page, rescuers saw a "little spark" was still in her eyes.

Chi Chi was taken to a veterinarian clinic where parts from all four of her legs had to be amputated.

Chi Chi would recover and eventually found a forever loving home in Phoenix. Now she lives out her days as a certified therapy dog, swimming, playing, cuddling and exploring all while wearing prosthetics and a HUGE smile on her face.

“She’s an amazing soul, she’s more than an animal, she really touches everybody she meets in a positive way," her owner Richard Howell told PEOPLE. "Her story proves you can go through something horrendous and with the right attitude you can get through anything.”

You can help Chi Chi's family with the medical cost of new prosthetics and treatment for her Lupus by donating to her GoFundMe.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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