From heartbreak to happy end­ing

Waikato Times - - Front Page - JO LINES-MACKEN­ZIE

It’s come full cir­cle for a Huntly po­lice of­fi­cer and an abused puppy.

Con­sta­ble Felic­ity Hol­loway has adopted four-month-old Elmo in a strange co­in­ci­dence that be­gan over two months ago.

‘‘I at­tended a do­mes­tic in­ci­dent that Elmo was in­volved in. Then I left it to the vet and the dog con­trol and I didn’t think any­thing of it,’’ Hol­loway said.

Mean­while, Hol­loway and her part­ner Ben Par­sons had been look­ing for a pound pup to adopt.

‘‘My friend who works for dog con­trol rung me one day and said that they had found a pound pup for me. They sent me pic­tures and then brought him out to the farm and we in­stantly fell in love.’’

It wasn’t un­til those in­volved started chat­ting that they re­alised that Hol­loway was the of­fi­cer who at­tended the ini­tial in­ci­dent and first put Elmo on the path to re­cov­ery.

His pre­vi­ous own­ers had al­legedly at­tempted to snap his legs, and while they did drop him at the vets, they left false details so they couldn’t be con­tacted.

At first, it was a hind leg that re­quired ve­teri­nary at­ten­tion. But on closer in­spec­tion Waikato District Coun­cil dog an­i­mal con­troller Jo Newell no­ticed that there was some­thing also wrong with his front left leg.

‘‘It was bend­ing out to the left and the coun­cil’s vet di­ag­nosed it as a growth plate in­jury. They kept him on cage rest for a few days be­fore do­ing some X-rays,’’ Newell said.

Vets SOS did the ini­tial prog­no­sis and said it wasn’t good.

The op­tions were stretch­ing of the limb by us­ing an im­planted halo or am­pu­ta­tion. How­ever, be­ing a front leg, am­pu­ta­tion of­ten trou­bled the dog a bit more as they car­ried their weight there.

The ini­tial cost of the treat­ment was $5000 to $10,000.

It was dur­ing this time that Newell reached out to Fundrais­ing for Im­pounded Dogs and they helped raise over a thou­sand dol­lars in 24 hours.

The do­na­tions didn’t stop there for ‘‘the peo­ple’s puppy’’ with the com­mu­nity and busi­nesses spon­sor­ing or­thopaedic con­sults, and gift­ing puppy food and puppy classes, with Elmo re­ceiv­ing do­na­tions rang­ing from $1 to $500.

There has been no ratepay­ers’ money put into Elmo’s re­cov­ery.

Newell said that be­cause money had al­ready been raised they couldn’t turn back and opt to put Elmo down.

Elmo is still in Newell’s care while he un­der­goes the stretch­ing process as the screws need to be turned twice a day for six weeks.

Hol­loway can’t wait to have Elmo in their full­time care.

‘‘He’s got 11 acres of na­tive bush to play on. He’s got 14 pet farm an­i­mals and he al­ready thinks he’s the boss of.

‘‘The pig and he are best friends al­ready. It feels pretty cool to of­fer him this life after the life he’s had,’’ Hol­loway said.

PHOTO: CHRIS­TEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Elmo has be­come the peo­ple’s puppy after he was abused. He’s here with adop­tive owner Con­sta­ble Felic­ity Hol­loway and Waikato district an­i­mal con­troller Jo Newell.

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