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Stroke of luck saves abandoned dog seconds away from being put to sleep

4 weeks ago

Stroke of luck saves abandoned dog seconds away from being put to sleep
Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue

Pumpkin, a pocket bully, was only two years old when his life was set to end.

But in a twist of fate, the young dog narrowly escaped being euthanised, thanks to the intervention of Celandine Wood Animal Rescue in Wirral.

Heartlessly abandoned and tied to the gates of a council-run dog pound, Pumpkin’s condition rapidly deteriorated.

He arrived weighing a healthy 30kg, but within months, his weight plummeted to just 15kg. “The staff suspected he had cancer,” said Dr. Sharon Williams, founder of Celandine Wood Animal Rescue (CWAR). “But council-run pounds often can’t afford veterinary care, so he was booked in for euthanasia.”

Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue
Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue

Dr. Williams had already agreed to save another dog from the same pound when she received a desperate message asking if she could also take Pumpkin. “I phoned the woman and said, ‘Yes, we can take Pumpkin’. But she said, ‘Oh, you’re too late. They’ve just sedated him and they’re now putting him to sleep’.”

Despair washed over Sharon as she realised she might be too late. “I’d been out cleaning my yard when I was texted about saving Pumpkin. My heart sank, knowing that if I’d seen the text a few minutes earlier, he would still be alive.”

In a dramatic turn, Sharon’s phone rang again. “They said, ‘The vet can’t find a vein. Can you still take him?’” Sharon and a CWAR volunteer, Paul, immediately jumped into her car and drove five hours to save Pumpkin.

“He was in a cold office, lying on a stone floor, and he had a little pumpkin-colored jumper on him, which is where we got the name from, because he was actually called George. Although he was totally emaciated and looked tired, sad, and ill, he wagged his tail when he saw us. You could just tell he wanted to be loved.”

Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue
Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue

Blood tests and a specialist ultrasound scan ruled out cancer. Suspecting food allergies, Sharon put Pumpkin on a hypoallergenic diet. The transformation was swift and remarkable. “Within weeks of the special diet, he was like a different dog. He was thriving and full of life.”

Pumpkin’s second chance at life led him to a forever home. “One of our dog walkers took a shine to him and wanted to foster him,” Sharon said. “Then she decided to keep him. His new owners take him for long hikes in the countryside, which he loves. He even has a wife, Ginny the miniature dachshund. He just loves people and is always happy when snuggled next to someone on the sofa.”

However, CWAR is now facing closure unless it raises £500,000 for new premises. They must vacate their current shelter by June 14 as the landowner is selling the property.

Based in Merseyside, the rescue currently cares for 50 dogs and also takes in cats and wildlife.

CWAR was founded when Sharon began taking home animals that had been brought in for euthanasia without cause.

Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue
Pumpkin. Credit: Celandine Wood Animal Rescue

She dreams of building a facility that will quadruple their rescue capacity. “Pumpkin was one of the lucky ones,” she said. “But the UK rescue system is at breaking point. I get around 10 requests a day to save desperate animals in need and we have to say no because we are full. The majority of rescues up and down the country are full to bursting, leaving so many animals with nowhere to go.”

Run entirely by volunteers who balance rescue work with their jobs and families, CWAR is in urgent need of support. “We are all so heartbroken when we have to say no, and we’re all passionate about growing the rescue. We want to be able to say yes to every animal we’re asked to save.”

Sharon is appealing for help to expand the rescue. “We fundraise, but with tests, medications, and food, one dog can cost thousands, wiping out our funds. We really need people who care about animals to help us so we can help them. Can you donate? Can you fundraise for us? Are you a business that can adopt us as your charity of the year? We’d be so grateful for the support.”

To donate to Celandine Wood Animal Rescue visit the GoFundMe here.

For the latest news around Liverpool click here.

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