Published: 19:53, 10 November 2020
| Updated: 21:24, 10 November 2020
A quest has begun to find a new home in time for Christmas for a three-legged dog who survived intentionally being run over.
Futures for Dogs, based in Sandwich, is working with one of its former volunteers in Romania to find a suitable home for Stella, a four-year-old cross breed.
The volunteer run-group had never worked with partners in Europe before lockdown but was inspired to step in after a rise in cases involving British families.
Stella was once a pet of an English family before they abandoned her when they moved back to the UK.
During her time on the streets, she became fearful of everyone and everything and even rescuers' attempts to trap her with food were unsuccessful.
Then one day, a concerned local reported she was lying in a ditch having been deliberately hit by car.
Stella was in a bad way. She not only required surgery but her teats were full - a sign she had had puppies. Despite searches, her offspring were never found.
Futures for Dogs volunteer Lee Elms said: "The person who hit her took her out so hard that her front leg and shoulder were not responding.
"Thankfully for this lucky lady volunteers chose to give her a chance and surgery went ahead to remove them.
"After surgery she was nervous but she had nowhere to run. She had to start accepting those caring for her and slowly started to respond.
"Soon her pen was left open so she could put her head out and see the other dogs and she started to gain more confidence day by day, not only with the other dogs but also with only having three legs.
"She now goes for walks, joins in with the other dogs and likes a fuss."
Stella will never be able to live on the streets again and fend for herself and now requires a loving home.
Mr Elms said: "No one wants to offer a wonky dog a home in Romania and we don’t want to take the risk of her being turned out again.
"So now comes the hard task of finding her a forever home and we are hoping we can help by finding her one in the UK."
Stella is looking for an experienced home (children 14+) with a secure garden that will give her the time she needs to continue developing her confidence and trust.
Mr Elms said: "Her new family will have to work with her as if she were a new pup and be prepared to give her the time she needs to adapt.
"She won’t be a ready-made dog and settle in immediately and there may be some accidents and scary moments for her but with love and patience we know she will come round.
"Her new home really needs to be 100% committed."
Help and advice will be provided by Futures for Dogs throughout the settling in process.
If you think you could provide a home for Stella, email email@example.com for an application form.