Unsung heroes for K9 Focus

Bella with K9 Focus fosterer Jo Bowden. Bella with K9 Focus fosterer Jo Bowden.

Sunday, March 2, 2014
5:43 PM

It is the final week of the North Devon K9 Heroes Awards, plus the opportunity to hear more about the hardworking volunteers at the charity behind it all.

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THERE has been a fantastic response to the North Devon K9 Heroes Awards created by dog rescue charity K9 Focus.

We have heard some great stories about your four-legged friends and how much they mean to you – and don’t forget, if you wish to nominate a superstar pooch, there is still time before the closing date on Wednesday, March 5.

This week we’d like to share with you some of the unsung canine and human heroes of the Torrington based charity, set up by Lynne Hall.

The charity relies solely on public donations to keep going and the tireless work of its volunteers and fosterers to ensure dogs that would otherwise be put down through no fault of their own have a second chance at a happy life.

A prime example is Bella, who through the efforts of fosterer Jo Bowden has overcome illness and is ready to make someone a delightful companion.

The three-year-old came to the charity in February last year, badly overweight at almost 58 kilos and struggling with health problems including difficulty walking and a painful eye condition where her eyelids constantly roiled inwards.

The K9 Focus team leapt into action and began fundraising to raise the money for her eye operation, and with the help of everyone who gave so generously, the target was reached.

But Bella’s mobility was not improving and in fact it was clear she was in a lot of pain. A ruptured ligament was the problem but before that could be operated on she had to lose eight kilos, but finally the operation went ahead.

Her recovery was long and slow, confined to a crate for six weeks, with regular physio and restricted walks, followed by two more operations to fix her eyes.

“She has recovered well and has been such a sweetheart despite all that she has had to go through,” said Lynne.

“Jo has cared for her throughout all this and that has been a full time job, but Bella is now making an excellent recovery and will be ready to be adopted full time soon.

“Foster carers like Jo are essential to K9 Focus. Without Jo, Bella’s problems would have been too great to manage and she would not be here today.”

Anyone who would like to become a foster carer, spend a few hours volunteering for the charity, or make a donation, is welcome to call Lynne on 07971 461806. Find out more about K9 Focus and the many dogs needing new homes by visiting www.k9focus.co.uk.

It is free to nominate a dog for the North Devon K9 Heroes Awards and there are some great prizes to be won, including two nights accommodation in a dog friendly hotel, plus gift hampers and toys.

The categories are: Pawsome Company - for dogs providing companionship; Working Hero - For all working dogs; Rescue to Hero – For any rescued or rehomed dog; Just Because.

Email a picture and your nomination to tony.gussin@archant.co.uk or post to: K9 Heroes, C/O North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB. Please include your name, address and a contact telephone number.

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