Insurance battle for owners of brave dog

SPRIGHTLY Springer Spaniel Wilf's remarkable recovery from the brink of death has won him a top bravery award – but his owners are now facing a battle of their own.

SPRIGHTLY Springer Spaniel Wilf's remarkable recovery from the brink of death has won him a top bravery award - but his owners are now facing a battle of their own.

The energetic Ipswich dog had been out on his daily walk with owner David Coyle and canine companion Bertie when Wilf plunged off a 50ft bridge after chasing a pheasant.

Mr Coyle said: "I looked over the edge and saw Wilf lying on the track completely lifeless."

He then carried 16kg Wilf more than a mile to Christchurch Veterinary Surgery, where they found he had suffered a broken jaw, snapped ligaments in both of his front paws and was in deep shock, which itself can prove fatal.


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But despite having an insurance policy with Tesco, Mr Coyle today revealed he is having to fight to reclaim the cost of the vet's bill, which totalled just under £5,000.

When making a claim for each of Wilf's three injuries, he was told he could only recover the cost of one as they were all suffered in a single incident.

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This offered a maximum pay-out of £2,500, but Mr Coyle believes he should be able to receive separate payments for each injury.

The financial ombudsman has now intervened and is currently investigating.

A spokesman for Tesco confirmed the matter was being investigated and that they are in discussion with the financial ombudsman about resolving the situation.

Wilf is today back at home following extensive emergency surgery, including bone grafts and having his jaw wired.

His other owner Victoria Alexander said: "It was very disheartening to see Wilf so immobile. But he didn't let the situation get him down and was a model patient."

Wilf still makes regular visits to Christchurch Veterinary Surgery, but this time was honoured there for his exceptional courage in the face of a life-threatening situation.

Now in its 11th year, the PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year award has recognised his qualities as the regional winner for London and the South East.

Award organiser Hilary Nelson said: "Outstanding determination to survive can be shown by animals - young or old, large or small - and Wilf clearly demonstrated the qualities PDSA wishes to acknowledge, not forgetting his owners' devoted care and the skill of the veterinary team who treated him."

Has your pet been inspirational? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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