A dog which can sniff out diabetic hypos needs life saving surgery after plunging 15ft off a wall on the day it was due to start a new life.
Lucy, a two-and-a-half year old fox red Labrador, was leaving her foster mum to start a new life with owner Ashley Young, 34, when she got spooked and ran off.
The pooch, who was able to sniff out her foster mum’s child’s hypos without being trained to do so but was not insured, slipped her lead at Paisley Gilmour Street station in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
A massive community effort was put into finding her on Wednesday but 24 hours later she was found hiding in bushes badly hurt from her fall.
Rather than starting a new life with Ashley on the Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire, a PDSA vet warned Lucy would need to be put to sleep – but a private vet said her life could be saved if the injury had pins and plates inserted, and also diagnosed a dislocated hip,
Ashley paid £1,500 up front for vet treatment but cried with the prospect of bills racking up to around £5,000 for two operations – until her friends started a fundraising page.
She believes karma has played a part in the situation and can’t wait to get Lucy back to Arran for walks on the beach.
Ashley said: “It is heartbreaking, I was going to take her back to Arran from Paisley Gilmour Street but a train spooked her, she was coming back and she jumped over a wall.
“We didn’t know if we were going to find her again until one of the guys working in a restaurant heard barking.
“She’s got bad injuries but I’m just thankful that she wasn’t an old dog.
“We didn’t know if she would need to be put down straight away. The PDSA told us to prepare for the worst and talked about amputating her leg.
“A private vet told us they could put plates and pins in and she would be able to walk.
“It turned out her hip was dislocated and will need an op.
“The amount of support we have received is overwhelming, it’s given me faith in humanity. I’ve already spoken to the island vet about aftercare, it’s absolutely amazing.”
She said everyone in Paisley should ‘get a certificate’ for bringing Lucy back to her.
Ashley, who works for an outdoor centre but has been volunteering at a hospital while the centre is closed, will now be able to pay for the leg operation as nearly £3,200 was raised in just 15 hours.
Lucy was won over vet staff and Ashley joked her new pet is now famous.
She added: “She’s an amazing dog, the vets were saying ‘we just want to keep her’.”
The op on Lucy’s legs is hoped to go ahead tomorrow, with surgery on her hip scheduled for about six days later and Ashley is excited to get Lucy home to Lamlash, Arran when possible.
Ashley said: “I had to pay £1,500 out of my own pocket, I was crying so my friends said ‘don’t worry we’ll set up a fundraiser’.
“I’ve got a lot of good friends, they’ve got a lot of good friends and we are all a good bunch of humans.
“It is all great karma.
“I’m a great believer in what goes around comes around and she will have a great life with me.”