Dog was seconds from being put to sleep then vet looked at her phone

Sharon Williams has saved over 1,000 dogs
-Credit: (Image: Sharon Williams)


A dog was saved at the eleventh hour after a vet agreed to take him in.

The pocket bully, named Pumpkin, was heartlessly abandoned by his owner and tied to the gates of a council-run dog pound, where his life was soon about to end. He was about to be put to sleep after vets suspected he had cancer - but luckily for him his saviour drove five hours to rescue him.

Under the care of the kennels, Pumpkin was unexplainably and rapidly losing weight – he’d come in at 30 kilos and dropped to just 15 within a few months.

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Vet Dr Sharon Williams, the founder of Celandine Wood Animal Rescue (CWAR), said the kennel staff 'suspected he had cancer' and due to the cost of care he was due to be euthanised.

Sharon had in the past agreed to save another dog who was due to be put to sleep, from the same kennels. She got a message from staff to ask if she could also take in Pumpkin. She said: "I phoned the woman and said yes, we can take Pumpkin. But she said, 'oh, you’re too late'. They’ve just sedated him and they’re now putting him to sleep."

Sharon said she felt sick knowing she’d not been able to save him. She added: "I’d been out cleaning my yard when I was text about saving Pumpkin. My heart sank, knowing that if I’d have just seen the text a few minutes before he would still be alive."

But then Sharon’s phone rang again, and the vet told her "we can’t find a vein" and asked "can you still take him?" Sharon and a CWAR volunteer Paul jumped into her car and drove five hours to pick Pumpkin up.

Sharon said: "He had a little pumpkin-coloured jumper on him, which is where we got the name from, because he was actually called George. Although he was totally emaciated and looked tired, sad and ill, he wagged his tail when he saw us. You could just tell he just wanted to be loved."

Thankfully he has found his forever home
Thankfully he has found his forever home -Credit:Sharon Williams

Under the care of Sharon, Pumkin had blood tests and a specialist ultrasound scan done which ruled out cancer. Suspecting he may have food allergies, she put him on a specialist hypoallergenic diet and he soon began putting on weight. Within weeks of the special diet, he was like a different dog. Sharon added: "He was thriving and full of life."

Sharon said Pumpkin has now been adopted by new owners who fell in love with him. Sharon said: "One of our dog walkers took a shine to him, and she wanted to foster him, then she decided to keep him. His new owners take him for long hikes in the countryside, which he loves. He even has a wife, Ginny the miniature dachshund. He just loves people and is always happy when snuggled next to someone on the sofa."

Sadly, CWAR is facing closure unless it raises £500,000 to set up new premises. They must vacate their shelter by June 14 because the landowner is selling up. The rescue centre, based in Wirral, currently has 50 dogs in its care and also takes in cats and wildlife from across the region.

Pumpkin was seconds away from being put to sleep
Pumpkin was seconds away from being put to sleep -Credit:Sharon Williams

CWAR was founded after owner, Sharon began taking animals home with her which had been brought in to be euthanised for no good reason. She plans to build a facility that will quadruple the amount of rescue spaces so they can save many more animals.

She said: "Pumpkin was one of the lucky ones. But the reality is that the UK rescue system is at breaking point. I get around 10 requests a day to save desperate animals in need and we have to say no because we are full. The majority of rescues up and down the country are full to bursting. That leaves so many animals with nowhere to go.

"Celandine is run entirely by volunteers, who juggle rescue work with their jobs and family commitments. We are all so heartbroken when we have to say no and we’re all passionate about growing the rescue. We want to be able to say yes to every animal we’re asked to save."

Sharon is appealing for people’s help to grow the rescue. She said: "We fundraise, but then with tests, medications and food, often one dog can cost thousands, and it wipes our funds out. We really need people who care about animals to help us so we can help them."

To donate to CWAR, visit the GoFundMe here.

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