Updated 10.10pm with condition update.

Vets and volunteer workers on Thursday evening appeared to be optimistic that they had saved the life of a puppy which was found stuck in tar.

The animal, about eight weeks old, was rushed to the sanctuary of the Association for Abandoned Animals on Thursday morning. It had the viscous liquid, which burns the skin, on one side of his body, including near an eye.

The circumstances of the incident were not known. 

An emotional Rosalind Agius, sanctuary manager, said on Thursday afternoon that she hoped the puppy would survive. 

"Our hearts are sick, non-stop cases of dogs suffering every day... The cries of the puppy are still in our ears. We rushed him to the vet as half his body is covered and the tar was getting harder by the time we drove to the vet," the AAA said, under a video of the whimpering puppy.

In the evening, the association said the tar had been painstakingly removed and the puppy was eating. It was even given a name - Mickey.

It was the second case of suspected animal cruelty in as many days.

On Tuesday, the hunters' federation uploaded a video showing a thief entering its enclosure in Buskett and stealing two barn owls which were being bred for release in the wild. He could be seen calmly plucking off their wing feathers. A man was charged with the theft and with cruelty on Thursday.

AAA, which cares for abandoned animals and often voices concern about animal welfare, is always in need of donations.

These can be made by sending an SMS on 5061 7350 for a donation of €2.33, 5061 8060 to donate €4.66, 5061 8910 €6.99 and 50619200 €11.66.

More information on info@aaamalta.com

AAA hopes to provide an update about the health of the puppy later on Thursday or on Friday. 

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