From heartbreak to happy ending
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.
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.