Monday, December 6, 2010

Nobody loves Alfie! Britain's most rejected dog searching for a home after being abandoned by FOUR families


Alfie: The greyhound and Labrador cross has been abandoned by four families

Every puppy found in a pound has had a bad start in life but the saddest dog story in Britain might just belong to Alfie.

The 20-week old greyhound Labrador cross was abandoned by four families before ending up in the doghouse.

But worse still, staff at Happy Endings Rescue Sanctuary in Hailsham, East Sussex, have discovered the pup has a fatal liver condition.

However, in the season of goodwill the big-hearted animal lovers are aiming to live up to the name of their charity by appealing for help to raise £3,500 to pay for an operation to save Alfie's life.

Chris Johns, co-founder of Happy Endings, said: 'We took him from a woman in Dartford who said she was moving and couldn't keep him.

'He has had four homes already and we are his fifth, he's only five months old.
'It was quickly apparent that he was not well and we contacted his previous owner to let her know.

'It was only then she admitted that he had been ill when she had him and she had lied about moving to get us to take him in.

'It probably explains why he has had so many homes before, people didn't want to spend any money on him finding out what was wrong so just passed him on.'

All dogs re-homed through Happy Endings are given a medical check-over and staff soon realised the pup was poorly.

'He turned up totally bewildered and was very needy,' said Mr Johns.

'Initially we thought it was because he had been let down by so many people abandoning him and passing him from pillar to post.

'He didn't seem to have an appetite and only ate a very tiny amount, often being sick so we asked the vet to run some extra tests on him.'

Alfie was examined by a vet and a ultrasound scan revealed a rare condition called a liver shunt - a problem with his circulation system where blood in a vein that passes through or round the liver does not get the toxins cleaned.

Instead the pup's body is being flooded with toxic waste such as ammonia which causes his sickness and can also lead to diarrheoa, fits, brain damage and neurological problems.

The severe condition can only be cured with surgery but the small sanctuary, which is self-funded by the founders, cannot afford the £3,500 bill.

Terry Kemp, a veterinary nurse and co-founder of Happy Endings, added: 'I've only known three or four cases in my 11-years nursing.

'Alfie had some blood test and was referred to a specialist where he had an ultrasound scan.

'The specialist has been fantastic but the operation could cost up to £3,500.
'Since he went to the vets he has been really playful, he's been eating much more and normal and it would be really good to give him the chance.

'Without the operation things are very bleak for him.'

Mr Johns added: 'There are two options. He can have the operation or we have to put him to sleep, it's absolutely heartbreaking.

'There is no way we can afford £3,500, we simply haven't got it.
'Alfie is a lovely dog, he's got a such a sweet nature.

'He's had such a terrible start in life but if we can get him the operation and all goes well we could find him a home for the rest of his life.'

The sanctuary, which also has a base in Knockholt, near Sevenoaks in Kent, has been flooded with an influx of abandoned cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, horses and donkeys as the credit crunch bites.

Mr Johns said: 'Times are very tough. We absolutely love animals, that's the reason we started up. We never put a healthy animal down but sadly without this operation Alfie would not have a good quality of life.

'He needs the operation sooner rather than later. If we cannot find the money quickly sadly Alfie will have to be put down.

'We can only hope that animal lovers might be willing to make a donation towards Alfie's operation and we can get him the treatment he needs.'

Donations towards Alfie's operation can be made through the sanctuary's website

source: dailymail

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