Homes needed for Willow and her pups

Gillian McFadden fron the Doghouse Sanctuary and grandson Josh with Willow who had to have a leg amputated �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1509-287EB

Gillian McFadden fron the Doghouse Sanctuary and grandson Josh with Willow who had to have a leg amputated �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1509-287EB

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A dog which was found abandoned in Portadown just two weeks after Christmas, and had to have its leg amputated, is now seeking a new home, along with four of her pups.

Willow, named after the Willow Veterinary Clinic which cared for her, is a black and tan hound.

She was found by a member of the public with a serious leg injury not far from the vet’s on the Mahon Road.

The surgery cared for Willow and her litter of 10 pups up until the end of February when, due to space shortage, they were taken in by the Doghouse Sanctuary in Banbridge.

Now, the Sanctuary is trying to find loving homes for the four remaining puppies and Willow herself.

Mark Seager, one of the partners of the Willow practice, recalled the injured dog being brought in. He said, “She was heavily pregnant and had a bad break. But we weren’t able to operate on her until after she had the pups, because of the risk of the anaesthetic.

“But we got her stabilised and kept her comfortable with painkillers.

“She had no collar or name tag, she was not microchipped and no-one came forward to claim her.”

Nine days after being rescued. Willow (originally called Mary by Willows staff), gave birth to a healthy litter, and despite her injuries proved herself a “fantastic mum”.

Such was the severity of her leg injury, the vets were unable to save it and the amputation took place less than three weeks after the pups were born.

Alan Johnston, co-partner at the Willows, described Willow as a fantastic dog who staff got very found of. He said, “Unfortunately, as the pups grew we ran out of room, but they were very lucky to get a place at the Doghouse Sanctuary.

“A lot of our clients knew about Willow through our Facebook page and donated money for her and her pups. Jollyes in Lurgan also gave us food free of charge.”

There has already been a lot of interest in Willow’s pups, with just four remaining - the rest have been reserved.

Willow, too, needs a home, and despite her disability will be able to lead a normal life, albeit with a little extra care.

A spokesman for the Sanctuary said, “Willow has been through a lot but is recovering well. It is a slow process and she is just not fit enough to leave yet. It will be some weeks before she will be allowed out.”

The Sanctuary has organised a food appeal at Jollyes pet store on the Castlewellan Road, Banbridge, tomorrow (Saturday). Alternatively you can log onto the Just Giving page on https://www.justgiving.com/TheDoghouseSanctuaryWillow.