Sheffield woman's desperate plea to save beloved springer spaniel

Sheffield’s dog lovers have been urged to come to the aid of a poor springer spaniel who may have to be put down due to a crippling injury.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 5:55 pm

Tracy Wilson, who lives in Hillsborough, is determined to raise the money she needs to get her affectionately named pooch Ratbag the surgery he desperately needs.

She told how the six-year-old mutt had been limping due to what she thought was a strained muscle when he put one paw down in Hillsborough Park and let out a yelp ‘the likes of which I’ve never heard before’.

His front right leg had shattered, she said, leaving him in agonising pain.

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Tracy says she cannot bear to see Ratbag suffering

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Ratbag underwent emergency surgery to screw the bone back together but it was not a complete success and she has been told he will never run or swim again and it may be kindest to put him down as he can only hobble around for a few minutes at a time with the aid of a doggy wheel chair.

Tracy has since gone to a different practice, Green Vets near Norton, and says she has been told Ratbag needs to have both front legs operated on to give him the chance of a new lease of life, with the whole procedure expected to cost around £5,000.

She does not have pet insurance and says there is no way she can cover the bill, which is why she has launched a fundraising appeal in the hope other animal lovers will help out.

Ratbag before his injury

"Ratbag is my life. He’s the only thing that keeps me going and it’s so hard to see him like this,” said the 55-year-old former health and social care worker, who is currently off work with depression.

“He was happy and full of energy before this happened and I really want to give him his life back so he can enjoy running, swimming and going for daily walks again.

"He’s only just turned six and he should live till he’s about 17. I’m not ready to give up on him, and I’d be so grateful for any help to pay for the operation he needs.”

Tracy says she only learned after Ratbag’s injury that springer spaniels are particularly susceptible to fractures of the leg.