Indeed, blisters covered much of the puppy's body. While round-the-clock injections were needed just to keep him alive, Tuffy's burnt eyelids meant sleeping with his eyes open.
"Cases of animal cruelty and neglect are never something you get used to," Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson recalled. "You just learn to put your emotions aside and focus on what you need to do to help. Never had I seen an animal in so much pain."
Cue the cavalcade of compassion. A team of specialists, including a surgeon who flew in from Hong Kong, got to work. Skin was grafted from Tuffy's scrotum, one of the few areas left unscathed from the attack.
"Tucked under his body, this had been a place where the boiling water hadn't reached - so Tuffy was duly neutered, with nothing left to waste," Robinson said.
But repairing a puppy's broken body was one thing. Bringing a withered spirit back from the brink was another.