Each year, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home open their doors to more than 5,000 dogs and over 3,000 cats. Their vision is for every dog and cat to live in a home where they are treated with love, care and respect.
When Battersea’s clinical team were introduced to Mickey – a male German Shorthaired Pointer – with deformed front legs and no owner, they knew they had to give him the chance to walk properly.
Originally a street dog from Turkey, the two-year-old had been born with severely bowed legs, but he adapted to walking with his elbows almost on the floor his whole life.
Before Mickey came to Battersea, he was being cared for by a group of animal lovers at the Dalyan Animal Shelter in Turkey and whilst there, an English lady who visited them immediately fell in love with Mickey and became determined to get him some extra help.
Within a few months she managed to get Mickey over to England and brought him to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home so he could find his forever home.
The team at Battersea knew it would take a major operation to fix Mickey’s legs, and they needed an experienced orthopaedic surgeon to carry out the surgery. Luckily our Medivet Senior Partner, Arnold Levy, heard about Mickey’s case and wanted to help him find his feet, so he put Medivet Chafford Hundred’s Partner and Veterinary Surgeon, Ryk, forward to perform the life-changing surgery free of charge.
Staff from Battersea would bring Mickey to Ryk and his team at Chafford for surgery before hospitalizing him at Medivet Dartford, one of Medivet’s 24-hour centres. He would then return to Ryk the following day – bright and well post-surgery – acting like nothing happened.
It took three surgeries to help put Mickey right. The first procedure involved a left foreleg valgus correction (straightening of the bone), the second involved external fixators for both his left and right forelimbs, and the third was an arthrodesis (surgical fusion) of the right forelimb.
Mickey was extremely brave throughout all his procedures and as long as he was getting lots of cuddles and fuss, he was happy. The hard work paid off when Mickey’s bandages were removed and he took his first steps on his new legs (prepare to weep with joy!).
Desperate times: Mickey's life before surgery
Back at Battersea, Mickey received plenty of cuddles from all the lovely nurses. But there was one person in particular that grew very fond of him and that special someone was ITV star and Battersea ambassador Paul O’Grady. Mickey’s story even featured on Paul’s For the Love of Dogs Christmas special on Christmas day.
Paul O'Grady and Mickey: who says best friends have to be humans?
Surgery was high up on Mickey’s Christmas list, but for being an exceptionally good boy, Santa was able to find him a loving new home with Medivet Chafford Hundred’s Veterinary Nurse, Naomi, and her family.
Naomi loved Mickey’s loving and gentle character from the moment he stepped foot through their doors for surgery. Despite being Mr Popular at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Naomi was delighted to be chosen as his new owner.
Mickey has settled into family life with Naomi really well and he loves to have a cuddle on the sofa – his cheeky and humorous personality keeps their family alive and they couldn’t imagine life without him.
We’re so pleased for Mickey and Naomi and we’re especially grateful to Ryk and his team at Medivet Chafford Hundred, as well as our friends at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, for all pulling together to help give Mickey the chance to walk again.
For more information about Battersea Dogs & Cats Home or to rescue a loving dog or cat in need of a forever home, visit their website at: www.battersea.org.uk.
Videos and images courtesy of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.