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  • 08 June 2016
  • 4794

From Street Dog to Phoenix Rising

When animal rescuer and enthusiast Amanda Leask saw the image of a Romanian dog that had been partially skinned alive appear on her social media timeline she knew that she had to act fast to get him the help that he needed to survive.

The dog had been found abandoned on the streets of Bucharest, Romania in terrible distress with a skinned leg and visible cable tie wounds.  Luckily for him he was saved by local schoolteacher Monica Teodorescu who spends all of her spare time rescuing dogs from the streets and from Bucharest's municipal 'kill' shelters. Whilst on the streets, not only do these dogs have the daily struggle of finding food and shelter, they are at risk of being run over, freezing to death, or caught by the dog catchers who take them to one of Romania's municipal 'kill' shelters. Whilst in these kill shelters the dogs are starved, beaten, poisoned and many suffer a very slow painful death.

Amanda flew over to meet Monica and was taken to see the injured dog who was just lying there compliantly as though he had given up hope. His face was such a picture of despair that Amanda considered naming him ‘Sorrow’ but she decided that he needed a name that inspired hope, strength and fighting spirit so she called him ‘Phoenix’.

On returning to the UK Amanda quickly enlisted the help of a veterinary specialist to try to save Phoenix’s leg. Amputation was on the cards if the correct help wasn’t actioned immediately and a fundraiser was set up on Facebook to try to help with the ever-mounting costs.  The vet decided on a reconstructive skin flap treatment where a piece of skin that has its own blood supply is placed on a wound. This treatment is much more resistant to external factors such as movement, fluid accumulation beneath the flap, and infection. Phoenix’s granulation tissue had ground to a halt so this was his last chance of keeping his leg. The operation went well but just days afterwards his staples started to open, increasing the chance of further infection. A decision was taken to re-operate and stitch the leg. This led to weeks of recuperation, healing and moderate exercise.

It has been a year since Phoenix made his incredible journey and he is now fully embedded as a family member. Nicknamed ‘Phoenix Fox’ because of his delightful red colouring and two white socks he has not let his terrible start to life hold him back in any way. Whereas before his eyes only showed sorrow they now gleam with hope and possibility and he is a wonderfully energetic companion for Amanda’s disabled son Kyle who has cerebral palsy and autism.

If you are ever lucky enough to meet him he’ll be happy to sit on your head or show off his newly found love of agility training. Alongside Amanda’s other rescue dogs including last year’s Animal Award Hero winner Miracle, Phoenix is a treasured part of the family and has certainly risen to his name.

Follow Phoenix Rising on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/921820927856691/

Follow Monica’s work here www.monicasromanianrescue.com

Read about another of Amanda’s rescue dogs ’Miracle’ in a newly published book www.amazon.co.uk/Miracle-Amanda-Leask

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 13:28