Achilles heals

2017-01-09 10:48
A happy Achilles enjoys a rest on the trampoline at his new, forever home.

A happy Achilles enjoys a rest on the trampoline at his new, forever home. (Supplied)

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A dog, brought into the Amazimtoti SPCA with a metal clamp wedged through his leg, finally has his happy ending.

Achilles was brought to the SPCA just over three months ago by people who said the dog was a stray. Staff were horrified to find he had a metal clamp pushed through his leg near his Achilles tendon

The dog was thought to have had the clamp pushed through his tendon by previous owners so he could be chained up without the worry of his escaping.

Animal lover and volunteer Karen Wadsworth Borain said the Ridgeback cross was in an “excruciating” amount of pain.

“He was quite aggressive. He was in excruciating pain and was confused,” said Wadsworth Borain.

She said Achilles immediately had an operation to have the clamp removed and, although his wound was on the mend, the emotional healing process was the most challenging.

“We worked with him for three months. We gave him love and showed him that he was safe.

“Usually if an aggressive dog is brought in, it is put down, but the ’Toti SPCA identified him as just being scared and not aggressive by nature.”

Amamzimtoti SPCA manager Tracey Girling said she visited Achilles each day while he was being housed at the organisation’s kennels.

“I went to talk to him every day. We all had to be patient with him,” said Girling.

She said a few weeks after the clamp had been removed, a kennel handler moved him to a larger kennel and the SPCA staff started taking him for walks.

“He started coming into his own and even started ‘talking’ to the staff when they walked past his kennel and when we took him for walks.

“We wanted to work with him and it was all worth it,” she said.

Wadsworth Borain said after Achilles looked like he had started to heal emotionally, she began the search for his forever home.

“Someone adopted him and he is so happy-go-lucky now. There is not a single sign of aggression in him,” she said.

Wadsworth Borain added that through posting Achilles’s story on Facebook, the community “rallied” around the dog to support him on his road to recovery.

She said a community member had paid for the adoption fees and other donations that came in helped in covering some of the vet bills for him.

Girling said working with Achilles and seeing his story have a happy ending was “beautiful” and, with the help of public donations, more dogs like Achilles could have a happy ending.

“Donations help us to save animals’ lives. We want people to know that we want to help these animals, and the donations enable us to give animals like Achilles a second chance.”

Achilles’s new owner, Melanie Jordaan, who lives in Malvern, Durban, said she had seen a post about Achilles on Facebook and “something about him just stuck out”. Jordaan said she had been chatting to her partner about Achilles one night when he said she should adopt him.

“And I thought, yes, I will adopt him,” said Jordaan laughing. After the home visits and papers were signed, Achilles moved in and settled in right away.

“He was the missing piece to our family.

“He is happy and just so wonderful. There have been no problems, he gets on with my three other dogs and is good with my two daughters [aged three and eight].

“He is just a miracle and has such good manners. He sits down when I am about to feed him and gives his paw.

“He is an absolute darling,” she said.

Read more on:    spca  |  pietermaritzburg  |  animal abuse

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