x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Tortured Dubai dog to undergo lifesaving plastic surgery

The dog will undergo extensive surgery tomorrow to prevent the formation of scar tissue around her wounded neck.

Pumpkin is undergoing plastic surgery on Thursday after being tied up with wires and pelted with stones. Courtesy of Lukas Juszkiewicz
Pumpkin is undergoing plastic surgery on Thursday after being tied up with wires and pelted with stones. Courtesy of Lukas Juszkiewicz

DUBAI // A dog tortured to the brink of death will undergo pricey plastic surgery today, thanks to the generosity of residents.

Malika Faber, 22, was walking her dog on Saturday evening when she came across a group of children throwing sticks and stones at the desert dog, which was tied up with a piece of wire.

“She was on the ground and there were kids who were throwing stones and beating her with sticks,” said Ms Faber, who nicknamed the dog Pumpkin. “She wasn’t even moving anymore, she was against the wall with wire around her neck.”

Ms Faber said the three children looked no older than 15 and ran away when she approached them.

“I took the dog home and she was in a terrible state, cowering against the wall. She looked like she had given up,” she said. “She threw herself on her back and was crying.”

Ms Faber took the animal to Dr Lukas Juszkiewicz at the Modern Veterinary Clinic on Sunday morning.

It had a 15-centimetre long, 3cm deep gash to its throat from straining at the wire collar.

Pumpkin has been cared for at the clinic ever since, and her injury has been cleaned extensively.

“The wound is healing really nicely,” Dr Juszkiewicz said. “I can’t leave it like that because the formation of the scar tissue is too thick, it can cause breathing complications in future. We will need to use plastic surgery to rebuild the muscles in the neck.”

The hour-long surgery will cost Dh4,000, but dozens of residents have taken cash donations to the clinic to cover the expense.

The initial Dh1,000 for the treatment was given by Ms Faber, who already cares for seven rescue dogs and is unable to take in Pumpkin.

“She’s really lovely and I hope she goes to a good home,” she said.

Dr Juszkiewicz said one person had already offered to home the dog, but he would investigate first to ensure it was the best home.

Vets are often faced with a difficult decision if they are asked to treat stray animals, because of the cost of anaesthetics.

Dr Juszkiewicz said that if the clinic received donations greater than the cost of Pumpkin’s treatment, the money would be used to treat other animals in need.

“If there’s any money left after that we’ll just put it in a special charity account,” he said. “We can use this money to help other animals and hopefully it will become a charity account we can use more and more.

“There are a lot of other cases like this and having these funds available will mean that we don’t need to make the difficult decision over whether or not to operate on a suffering animal.”

One of the largest animal-welfare charities in the UAE is K9 Friends, which accepts donations for the treatment of mistreated dogs. A volunteer said residents should donate to the group instead of the vet.

“Vets should perhaps do things a bit more pro-bono,” said the volunteer. “These clinics are businesses and they make thousands, whereas people who work for charities don’t get paid.

“These charities are there to ensure there is treatment for stray animals.”

mcroucher@thenational.ae

To help other dogs who are victims of cruelty and abuse, contact K9 Friends on 04 887 8739