Stray Puppy Found Covered in Cactus Spines Gets Pesky Prickles Removed and Is Ready for a Home

After encountering a cholla cactus, Charlie had to have spines removed from his eyes, mouth, and paws by Arizona Humane Society veterinarians

cactus puppy
Photo: Arizona Humane Society

Charlie is finally feeling free after getting tangled with some local flora.

According to the Arizona Humane Society (AHS), the five-month-old Chihuahua puppy was found as a stray, wandering around Arizona cover in cactus spines. The pooch was picked up by Surprise Animal Control on July 22 and transferred to AHS.

After examining Charlie, AHS determined a cholla cactus was the culprit behind the pup's prickly situation. Somehow the canine got mixed up with one of the pokey plants and left the encounter covered in needles.

Shortly after the five-pound puppy arrived at AHS, vets from AHS' Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital took him into surgery and carefully removed all the spines sticking out of the dog. The delicate procedure required the professionals to pull out cactus spines from Charlie's mouth, eyes, and paws. Eventually, vets removed every needle nuisance and put Charlie under observation.

Once his observation period ended without incident, Charlie moved to a foster home to fully recover from his ordeal. Now, the puppy has received the medical clearance he was waiting for and is ready to find a forever home.

cactus puppy
Arizona Humane Society

Charlie is just one of the 11,000 pets the AHS Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital helps each year. AHS hopes that Charlie's story shows others that all pets, no matter how sick, injured, or upset they may seem, deserve a chance to heal and find happiness,

For those interested in potentially adopting Charlie, please set an appointment to meet him by visiting He will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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