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Rescued Jake not quite out of the woods yet

Jake, pictured with Debbie Taylor-Berry, left, and Christine Gengler.

A GERMAN Shepherd rescued from owners who neglected to have his painful fistula condition operated on is now happy in a new home – but still needs to undergo extensive – and expensive – treatment for the next three months.

However, thanks to the intervention of GSD rescue – brought about by OUR DOGS – a significant contribution to the dog’s treatment was been donated.

‘Jake’ is a three year-old GSD who was owned by acquaintances of Deborah Taylor-Berry and her husband. The couple became concerned about Jake’s welfare whenever they visited the friends, as the dog appeared to be in discomfort and was bleeding from his anus. Despite Deborah’s exhortations, Jake’s owners never took him to the vet about his condition – much to Deborah’s disgust.

"My husband races pigeons, and knows Jake’s original owner who also races alongside him," explains Deborah, from Bacup, Lancashire. "We used to visit them now and again and first saw Jake as a puppy and then on and off throughout his life. But during the past 8 to 9 months, we became very concerned, as he was bleeding form his back end and was obviously in pain. We mentioned this to his owners and urged them to take him to the vets, but they never did.

"When they acquired Jake, he had an undescended testicle and they were quoted £300 for an operation to deal with it, so they somehow assumed that the bleeding was as a result of this untreated testicle. I was furious at their neglect of Jake, as he is such an affable, loving dog and they just didn’t seem to care that he was in such discomfort

I was on the verge of contacting the RSPCA about it all."

Deborah was speaking to her friend Christine Gengler about Jake’s condition, as she knew Christine was a GSD fan and was looking for a new GSD after her previous pet had died.
Christine made it clear that she would be prepared to take Jake on and pay for his operation, if his owners were willing to give him up.

"We all discussed it and my husband and I agreed to go halves with Christine on paying for his treatment," continues Deborah. "His owners agreed to rehome him to Christine. To be honest, I think they were just glad to get him off their hands. Christine acquired Jake on 7th March and the first thing she did was take him the vets, and get his condition assessed."

Christine’s vet found that Jake was badly infected and in pain, suffering from an Anal Furunculosis. The perforation of Jake’s anal tissue was so severe that there wasn’t enough solid flesh to stitch together, although he felt that, as Jake was a young dog, he might respond favourably to a long-term course of Cyclodsporan antibiotics, which would help the damaged tissue to heal.

"The vet told us that the treatment would take between 12 and 16 weeks, with an estimated cost of £2,500 to £3,000," says Deborah. "We had been going to have our bathroom refitted, but we decided Jake was more important, so we gave Christine the £1,000 we’d saved up for that, and she herself put up a large amount of money. The joke of it is, Jake’s original owners were on state benefits and could have qualified for PDSA treatment for Jake, if only they’d been bothered to get the poor dog down to the vets.

Anyway, as far as we’re concerned, they don’t figure now. The main thing is to get Jake treated."

Christine describes Jake as a very friendly, cheerful dog. He had been very thin and lethargic when he came to Christine, but has "perked up" considerably and plays happily with Christine’s two Yorkshire Terriers.

"He’s so much happier," adds Deborah, "You can see it in his face. Hopefully his treatment will be successful and he’ll be back to full health again very soon. Far be it from any of us to sound like we’re begging, but if anyone feels they can make a small donation towards the rest of Jake’s treatment, we’d be so grateful. The poor dog’s been through so much and deserves a happy life. Christine will certainly give him that and we’ll do our best for him always."

When OUR DOGS learned of Jake’s plight, Chief Reporter Nick Mays spoke to his friend Pauline Jackson, who is a member of GSD Helpline, who suggested that the Rescue’s Rocky Trust Fund, set up to help rescued GSDs in need, might be able to help.

Deborah and Christine spoke to Alyson Lockwood of GSD Helpline on OUR DOGS’ suggestion.
The Trustees agreed that Jake was a deserving case and authorised a donation towards his treatment.

Alyson Lockwood told OUR DOGS: "I have spoken to the Trustees of the Rocky Trust Fund/ GSD Helpline and we are able to donate £250 towards the cost of Jake’s treatment. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that some of this can help with his care."

Deborah and Christine expressed their grateful thanks to the Rocky Trust Fund for their kind help in the matter.

Meanwhile, Jake, now a happy and much healthier GSD, continues his treatment and shows signs of good progress.

*Jake’s treatment is being arranged by Holborow & Tapsfield Vets of Burnley Road, Todmorden. If you can help by making a donation, please make cheques payable TO Holborow & Tapsfield and send these to Deborah Taylor-Berry at: 354 Bacup Road, Todmorden, Lancs OL14 7HN. (Tel: 01706 839992). Receipts will be issued for all donations received.