1. ITV Report

Dog's legs cut off on purpose

Colin Photo: Ross Parry

An animal lover is raising money to help a dog get life-changing fake limbs after he had his front legs deliberately chopped off.

Stray Colin was found wandering the countryside with nothing but two stumps for legs. But thanks to Claire Revis he has been given hope of starting a new with a set of state-of-the art prosthetics.

Claire, 48, from Brighouse, West Yorks, said Colin was found in Romania and vets believe he had been walking on stumps for months. He has now been brought to the UK and Claire is raising cash to get him back on his feet.

Claire said:

He was found in a horrendous state, he'd been walking on bare bones, the skin on his two front legs had come off and he had a lot of infection.

He'd probably lost them months before, the vets said they'd been chopped off deliberately.

They have very limited vet facilities out there, and most of them are totally unsanitary. Luckily my friend knew of one in Bacau that was good.

There he was cleaned up and given antibiotics, we spoke to a company called Orthopets who organise for limb reconstruction in badly injured animals.

Colin and Claire Credit: Ross Parry

Colin's back legs have now been amputated in an operation to prepare him for prosthetic legs, which will fit on like cones slid inside one another.

But the poor pooch will have to wait another month before he gets his new limbs.

The mutt, who is an indistinct breed and is thought to be around six or seven-years-old, was transported to Essex, where Claire picked him up before taking him home.

Claire, a former pub landlady, said: "It's so rewarding to see dogs that have been mistreated rehomed to loving families.

"It will take two or three weeks after he's fitted with the artificial legs for him to get used to it, just because he won't know what's going on."

The dog rescuer has saved hundreds of pooches from the country, which she says is "totally barbaric" in its treatment of man's best friend.

There are dead dogs on every street in Bucharest, some tie wire around their necks and drag them around for pleasure. You'd be arrested over here for doing that.

I have rescued a dog from over there before who had her entire face cut off with a machete, she was supposed to be a Border Collie but the new family thought she was a pug because of her injuries. I can't imagine how anyone could be so cruel.

Colin has had all his injections now, which he needed for coming to the UK after he had been living in the dirt with open wounds.

There are about 100,000 stray dogs in Bucharest alone, but dog shelters just seem to pocket the money. Very few are actually given any food or medical care.

Then there is the cruelty - people just go round the streets beating, maiming and even poisoning them. It's an act of power that people abuse, the poor dogs are completely defenceless.

Colin Credit: Ross Parry

Claire, who has four dogs herself, has so far raised £5,000 to bring Colin to the UK, £3,000 of which has been spent on the artificial limbs, and is hoping to raise more cash for his care.

She said: "People have donated from all over the world to see him come over and get rehomed - I've been so overwhelmed by the whole thing.

"It's really restored my faith in humans."