Wednesday 28 September 2016

Irish woman launches fundraising campaign to help have her sick pug Peaches

Published 19/03/2016 | 11:08

Mary Kelly pictured with her pug Peaches
Mary Kelly pictured with her pug Peaches

Mary Kelly has always had a soft spot for animals in distress. When she noticed an advert on an online sales website for a pug that was being given away for free because of health issues, she immediately contacted the owner.

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She discovered the dog — Peaches — had been bought as a puppy to be used for breeding. As she had grown up, she developed a spinal deformity which meant she could not use her back legs properly. There was no way she could now be used for breeding: she could hardly walk herself, never mind carry the extra weight of a pregnancy.

Furthermore, there was a risk that any pups would also suffer from the same deformity. Her original owners had decided that the only answer was to pass her on to someone else. As soon as Mary heard this story, she made a commitment: she was going to be the one to help the unfortunate animal.

Mary took Peaches to her own vet for an immediate appraisal: the news was bad. Some pugs are born with an inherited abnormality of the bones of their lower spine which causes their back to become twisted as they mature. It’s the equivalent of a severe ‘hunch back’.  As the back becomes twisted, pressure develops on the nerves, causing weakness and paralysis of the back legs, as well as incontinence of urine and faeces. Without treatment, Peaches will eventually be completely paralysed.

The good news is that with modern veterinary skills, there is some hope. She has already been seen by a specialist, and there is a plan for her to have an MRI scan, followed by radical surgery to straighten her spine. There is one catch: even when done at a charity-type rate, this high level of treatment is very expensive.

Mary is determined to see this through and she’s now holding fundraising events. She has a Facebook page, and has set up a GoFundMe online fundraiser to look for international support. It isn’t easy, as there are many other competing causes.

Some people suggested Mary should give up and have Peaches euthanised instead. They even say it would be “kinder” to do that. Mary disagrees completely. Peaches is a gentle, friendly, adorable little dog. It isn’t her fault she’s been born with a body that isn’t working. She doesn’t deserve to die.

Mary’s made a commitment to Peaches and she’s going to see it through, but she can’t do it on her own. She needs a small amount of help from a few hundred caring people. Could you be one of those individuals?

To find out more, go to Peaches Story on Facebook

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