The Citizen (Gauteng)

Two legs, but Eddie survives

- Nica Richards

While South Africans hunkered down during Level 4 lockdown, one of the worst cases of animal cruelty seen by North West-based Avontuur Veterinary Services was discovered.

A dog, since named Eddie, was found lying next to a train track in Groot Marico on 2 May.

The Samaritans who rescued Eddie brought him to Avontuur Vet on 4 May.

Eddie’s right front and left hind legs were crushed and rotting and he was severely malnourish­ed, said Avontuur Vet’s Sanlie van den Brink.

Although it seemed euthanasia was the only option, Van den Brink and the Avontuur Vet team refused to give up.

“Since we have had success with two-legged dogs before, we decided to give him a chance and amputated his right front and left hind legs,” Van den Brink told The Citizen.

They still have no idea what happened to Eddie, but believe he must have belonged to someone because he seemed comfortabl­e around people.

The surgery was a success, and Eddie was taken to the home of Van den Brink and Avontuur veterinari­an Lizahn to recover.

In the process of getting Eddie back on his paws, they fell in love with him and have since decided to give him a home.

“He is the most loving dog, despite everything he has been through. He is doing extremely well.”

During his rehabilita­tion, Eddie had to learn to walk on two legs and adapt to his new life.

But despite Van den Brink having to do small things to make Eddie’s life easier, such as lifting his food while he eats, she said he gets stronger every day.

Eddie has even started to accompany his new family, including a dog with only three legs, on afternoon walks.

Avontuur Vet is in talks with Animal Care Division to get Eddie a brace to support his front leg, which is where he carries most of his weight.

Lockdown has not been kind to animals, with many reported abandonmen­ts and struggling shelters having to keep animals fed while keeping themselves safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Encouragin­gly, Van den Brink said Avontuur Vet has been busy because caring pet owners were picking up on problems faster than usual due to lockdown.

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