Saturday 15 December 2018

Meet Henry, the two-wheeled poodle saved from Chinese slaughterhouse by Irish woman

Henry was adopted from a Chinese animal sanctuary by big-hearted Sharon Warnock
Henry was adopted from a Chinese animal sanctuary by big-hearted Sharon Warnock

David Young

A disabled rescue dog from China has won the hearts of Northern Ireland's biker community.

Henry was adopted from a Chinese animal sanctuary by big-hearted Sharon Warnock, from Magheralin in Co Down, after she saw him online.

Now this little poodle has been taken on as a mascot by riders and racers.

However there was almost a very different ending for the pooch bikers have dubbed 'Henry Wee Wheels'.

Sharon said: "Henry was due to go to the slaughterhouse to be butchered for human consumption when he was attacked and bitten by a bigger dog.

"He was saved by Chinese animal welfare activists and taken to a government shelter in Shanghai.

"His spine was broken, severing his spinal cord and paralysing his back legs.

"A volunteer saw him in the shelter and contacted dog rescue organisation Harbin SHS, who took Henry to be treated for his injuries."

It was on their website that Sharon saw the little disabled dog - and fell in love.

She applied to adopt Henry and the Harbin group put her in touch with Northern Ireland rescue group Doggy 911, who work with Harbin SHS to rescue dogs.

After months of bureaucracy and quarantine, the plucky poodle made the intercontinental odyssey from China to his new home in Magheralin.

"It took him a little while to settle in," Sharon said.

"He was a little unsure but now he's part of the family."

Bike-mad Sharon is a scrutineer at the Ulster Grand Prix.

"My whole family race motorbikes, so I go to all the races and Henry goes with me in his little wheelchair.

"He's become a kind of mascot for the riders - they're forever taking selfies with him.

"He loves the motorbikes.

"He chases them, jumps up at the riders and the racing community have got to know him and they love him.

"He's their wee mascot."

Sharon said Henry needs more care than her other dogs, "but he gives so much back".

"He is just the joy of my life," she said.

"He's very lively. When he's not in his wheelchair, he has drag bags and he goes around the house and he's the happiest wee soul.

"Above all else, he's not in pain.

"His spine is fused and surgery is not an option for him.

"But he has such a happy life.

"I'm so proud of him and how he's adapted to his new life.

"He's my special wee man - I'm so lucky to be his new mummy."

Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News