Abandoned puppies find new home together in Dubai
Knife wounds on one of the five-week-old mongrel pup's paws were so severe the animal's leg had to be amputated. But vets treating the dog, which they named Stumpy, and his brother, Bernard, say both will go on to enjoy normal lives after being adopted by a British couple.
The cost of surgery and the dogs' rehabilitation at the Vienna Veterinary Clinic in Umm Suqeim was paid for by donations from the public to the 38smiles charity.
The dogs are inseparable and had to be given a new home together with Lynn and Hank Harrington, who live in Al Garhoud. The couple have given eight other rescue animals a home.
Mr Harrington, a helicopter pilot with Dubai Royal Air Wing, was outraged when he heard of the puppies' plight.
"It was shock-horror to think people could do that," he said. "Yet you could see in the pups' faces, they are incredibly resilient and forgiving. We wanted to help straight away.
"It was obvious they needed to go together, the way they had bonded, and that was a challenge to find them a new home."
Mrs Harrington said the dogs will have plenty of space to enjoy in their 10-acre garden in England, when the couple move later this year.
"They struck a chord and we just wanted to help," she said.
"There is a limit to what you can do, but we felt we could help.
"A friend of mine used to have a three-legged dog and it was never an issue. They will be fine."
Vets treating the dogs said the wounds were the worst case of abuse on young animals they had seen, but the response from the public was overwhelming.
Dr Dorian Gaeta, from the Vienna Veterinary Clinic, said: "It is so sad it has taken something so sad to find the good in people."
"There has been a huge influx of donations. One man in America read the article online and paid for half the bill, around Dh3,000. He has never even seen the animals.
"The reaction was overwhelming and a big surprise. People have been queuing up to see them, with 30 people at times waiting. Everyone wanted to play with them, the dogs are super-spoilt for attention now."
Stumpy's leg was amputated at the shoulder as vets said it would be easier for him to cope with as he grows. Bernard's injuries were more minor but have left psychological damage.
"Stumpy is so young, he won't even remember having a leg," said Dr Gaeta, of Austria. "Bernie is also doing fine. He limps a bit and there is no sign of pain, but when I change his bandages he screams out a bit, and that is psychological. But they will turn out to be nice dogs."
Kremena Ivanova, founder of 38smiles, said: "A lot of people have followed their story and we have had donations of around Dh7,000."
To make a donation to the charity, or adopt an animal, visit www.38smiles.com.
Updated: February 8, 2015 04:00 AM