Rescue dog shot as a puppy in desperate need of life-changing surgery

Tabatha was rescued in Greece by charity Zanta Strays, then fostered by Yvette Hart who runs Ipswich's Wags on Water

Tabatha was rescued in Greece by charity Zanta Strays, then fostered by Yvette Hart who runs Ipswich's Wags on Water - Credit: Wags on Water

A rescue dog is in desperate need of expensive surgery to remove shotgun pellets from her back, which continue to caused her pain every day.

Yvette Hart and rescue dog Tabatha

Yvette is hopeful that with the operation, Tabatha will be able to live a happy and pain-free life with another family - Credit: Wags on Water

Tabatha was rescued by Zante Strays, a dog charity in Greece, then recently fostered by Yvette Hart, owner of Ipswich's Wags on Water.

Aged just four years old, Tabatha walks with a limp and is prone to biting when her back or hind legs are touched.

That led to Yvette taking Tabatha to the vet for an X-ray just three days before Christmas.

An x-ray showed Tabatha has shotgun pellets in her back and near her pelvis

An x-ray showed Tabatha has shotgun pellets in her back and near her pelvis - Credit: Wags on Water

The scan showed shotgun pellets were lodged in her back, thought to have been there since she was a stray puppy in Greece.


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Surgery to remove them could cost £5,000.

According to Zante Strays, dogs which are fed by tourists during the summer in Greece are then turned on in autumn and winter, being dumped in rubbish bins or up mountains, shot, poisoned or starved.

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Yvette decided to foster dogs during 2020 when her usual holiday dog sitting business was impacted by coronavirus. She has since helped to rehome four other rescue pooches.

Wags on Water is a 70ft barge moored at Ipswich Waterfront and offers dog sitting services

Wags on Water is a 70ft barge moored at Ipswich Waterfront and offers dog sitting services - Credit: Wags on Water

If she is unable to raise enough money for Tabatha's surgery, she will not be able to rehome her - as the pain causes her to be unpredictable.

"We knew something wasn't right just by the way she walked and because there's no sign of injury, it's almost certain she will have been shot at when she was just a puppy," Yvette said.

"If you touch her back or hind legs, she air snaps and we just can't rehome her like that — the worst case scenario is putting her to sleep."

Tabatha is now on painkillers and the plan is to have an MRI scan to assess her injuries.

If the pellets are sitting too close to her spinal cord or nerves, it will make an operation more risky. However, it is her only chance of a pain-free future.

Yvette Hart has many years experience with dogs and lives on the 70ft Ipswich barge with partner Jerry

Yvette Hart has many years experience with dogs and lives on the 70ft Ipswich barge with partner Jerry - Credit: Wags on Water

Yvette added: "Tabatha was very lucky to get out of Greece and I just want this poor girl to have a chance of a happy ever after.

"If anyone would be interested in giving her a forever home, please message me via my Facebook page."

Click here to donate to Tabatha's GoFundMe page.

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