Animal welfare officers at The Mayhew Animal Home were recently alerted to a local homeless man, whose beloved dog had been hit by a car.
The four-year-old Staffie, called Lucky, had been crossing the street near Portobello Road, London, with her owner, when all of a sudden a car appeared and ran poor Lucky down.
Lucky’s owner, Gulbar Hussain, said, "It all happened so fast. I had managed to get out of the way, but Lucky had no chance. The car didn’t even stop and quickly sped off."
"Who would do something like that? Hit a poor defenceless dog and leave them there to die. I was terrified. I’ve had Lucky since she was a puppy and she has always been by my side. The thought of not having her here scared the life out of me."
Lucky was given pain relief, but her owner realised she wasn't bearing any weight on her hind right leg. Lucky was brought into The Mayhew where their vet team discovered that the poorly pooch had broken her hind right leg and fractured her pelvis. She was in a lot of pain and could hardly move.
The Mayhew’s Vet, Áine Maguire, said, "Poor Lucky seemed to suffer more from separation anxiety from being apart from her owner and would constantly cry for him.
"We performed a femoral head and neck excision on her hind right leg, which is a procedure used to treat painful hip conditions. The surgery was successful and Lucky recovered well from the procedure. She had to be completely rested for a couple of weeks so that her fractured pelvis had time to heal."
Lucky was monitored closely and, after three weeks, slowly began to put weight on her leg again. After lots of rest Lucky was allowed to continue her recovery with her owner. She needed cage rest for a further five weeks before returning to The Mayhew for a check-up.
Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, says, "It is extremely clear that Lucky is very important to Gulbar and vice versa. When Lucky had to stay with us for three weeks to recover, Gulbar would visit constantly and bring in food for Lucky – they were inseparable!
"A dog is often a homeless person's only companion and they create this incredible bond. Lucky and Gulbar would be lost without each other and that’s why it is so important we try and keep them together."
The veterinary costs for Lucky was covered by the Mayhew as her owner was in a vulnerable situation. They also provided a collapsible cage and physio tips so that Lucky could continue her recovery once she had been reunited with her owner.
The Mayhew Animal Home works with several organisations that offer support to homeless people in London and also visit homeless hostels and drop in centres, as part of their community-based outreach projects to help vulnerable people in crisis situations. Their support for homeless dog owners includes free general health checks and micro-chipping. They also encourage and book dogs for free neutering, vaccinations and a general health check with a Mayhew vet.