Bouncing Buster fights back from the brink of death

Lee Henderson, Stray Aids Community Engagement Manager, with a now healthy Buster.
Lee Henderson, Stray Aids Community Engagement Manager, with a now healthy Buster.

A battling Labrador was so thin when he was saved by Hartlepool dog wardens it was feared he would not survive.

Buster was picked up by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Dog Warden Service was so grossly underweight and ill it was feared he would die.

Buster when he arrived at Stray Aid.

Buster when he arrived at Stray Aid.

Emaciated Buster weighed just 15.55kg when he arrived at the Stray Aid kennels at Coxhoe in May.

Subsequent tests revealed raised liver enzymes in his blood, an indication that his condition was rapidly becoming life-threatening.

But less than two months later he is back to his boisterous best and looking for a new home thanks to the high-quality care provided by staff at Stray Aid, a registered charity that has a contract to take the dogs collected by the council’s Dog Warden Service.

Director Sue Bielby said: “We treated Buster for internal parasites and started him on a diet of turkey and rice dry food mixed with a small amount of tinned meat to make it more palatable. We didn’t have to worry, he loved it!

“There is always a danger with dogs in such a poor condition that they eat too much too soon, so we fed Buster small amounts every two hours until we were confident his body, especially his liver, could cope.

“Thankfully, he put on 2kg in just the first 24 hours and a further 5kg in the next week. He is now fed the dry food twice a day and is back to full health.”

Stray Aid was founded in 2006 by Sue, a vet, and her husband John with the primary aim of preventing the euthanasia of healthy strays, providing them with a safe and secure environment until they can be re-homed.

Alison Carberry from Hartlepool Council’s Dog Warden Service said: “We were alerted to Buster by a concerned member of the public. The amazing turnaround in his condition in just a few weeks reflects the exceptional quality of care provided by Stray Aid.”

Buster has now been re-homed by Stray Aid.

More information is available from Stray Aid on 0300 999 4247. The charity would also welcome donations of cash and dog food to enable it to continue and expand its work.

Hartlepool council’s Dog Warden Service can be contacted during normal office hours on (01429) 523333. Evening and weekend calls will be directed to the Stray Aid number.