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Joy as injured Dougal returns home

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Dougal is now recovering well

After hearing that their family dog had been hit by a car and bundled into a vehicle, the Wakely family feared the worst.

Their worries quickly turned to anguish when they could find no trace of their spaniel Dougal at the accident spot or any of the island’s vets. But three days after the accident, just as the family had given up hope of seeing their pet alive again, a bruised and battered Dougal wandered into the family home.

Yesterday, the three-year-old dog underwent emergency surgery at Endsmeet Animal Hospital for major internal trauma caused by the collision, and is now making steady progress.

Owner Catherine Wakely told The Royal Gazette that the family had been overwhelmed with the support and help the community had shown them as they desperately tried to find their pet.

“For three days we did everything we could to find him; we called all the vets, the dog warden, the SPCA, and I even went to all the dumps in case the person who picked him up had just taken him there because he had died,” Dr Wakely said.

“By Friday we started putting up posters and appeals on social media hoping that someone could see he had a family; even if he was dead, we just wanted to give him a burial in our garden.

“The posts were shared all over the island in the media and online. Everyone was incredibly helpful and offered us all kinds of support.”

The family had been at home on Thursday afternoon when Dougal escaped through a gate that had been left open by gardeners.

A member of the public alerted Dr Wakely’s son, Zebedee, that their dog had been involved in an accident close to the family home and that he had been put into a car.

However, despite extensive efforts the family could not find any trace of Dougal until Sunday evening when he reappeared out of the blue at the Wakelys’ Pembroke home

“We had given up hope he was alive,” said Dr Wakely. “So when he walked in it was just incredible. I was hysterical.

“But after giving him some water we quickly realised he was not in a good way. We phoned Endsmeet and took him in at 3am.

“X-rays revealed he had a ruptured diaphragm and broken ribs and it became evident he would need surgery.”

At 8am yesterday Endsmeet vets conducted major surgery on Dougal to repair the tissue damage caused by the collision.

Dr Wakely added: “We were not sure he was going to make it through the surgery, but thanks to the incredible work of all the team at Endsmeet it looks like he’s going to pull through.

“He’s breathing now and he is through the worst. I want to say thank you to everyone who shared the message on line and who offered support, and to all the team at Endsmeet who basically saved his life — Dr Fagan, Dr Richardson and Dr Fullerton.

“The one thing I do not understand is why the person that hit Dougal and put him into their car did not take him to a vet; it just makes no sense to me.”