A 16-week-old puppy has died after allegedly being kicked in the head by a group of youths outside a supermarket.Joanna Tufts, 26, rushed to help the puppy after some children found him bloodied and barely able to move outside the Co-Op store.
She made a bed out of blankets inside a trolley and cared for the dog until she managed to get hold of a vet.
Despite vets’ best efforts to save him over the weekend, they had no choice but to put him down on Monday.
Recalling when she first saw the dog, who she later named Asher, Joanna said: ‘He looked so limp and helpless.
‘He was still alive but you could tell he was in a lot of pain. His eyes weren’t really responding.
‘His tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth and his jaw wasn’t moving.
‘He had blood coming out of his nose.’Joanna, who has worked in America rescuing and rehabilitating dogs, said the injuries were consistent with an attack.
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She added: ‘Based on his injuries all the trauma was to his head.
‘If he had been hit by a car or something else you would expect to see evidence of that in skin abrasions.’The RSPCA confirmed it was investigating the attack in the village of Ordsall, Nottinghamshire, where the dog was ‘allegedly repeatedly kicked’. Joanna named the dog Asher – which means fortune – and rushed him to Portland House Veterinary Surgery, in Retford, Nottinghamshire on Friday evening. Staff thought Asher – a cross between a Springer Spaniel and a Jack Russell – was improving over the weekend.
Poor Eric’s claws had been left uncut for so long they started to curl over (Picture: RSPCA/SWNS) RSPCA inspector Nina Small said Eric was the thinnest dog she had ever seen alive (Picture: RSPCA/SWNS) Inspectors are hunting for Eric’s owners but he has not been microchipped (Picture: RSPCA/SWNS)Luckily Eric is being given round-the-clock care and is on the road to recovery while an investigation is carried out to trace his owners.
But all hope was lost after he went into critical condition on Monday, forcing vets to put him to sleep.Joanna, who owns the Happy Hounds Dog Spa in Retford, Nottinghamshire, was left in tears when she heard the news.
She said: ‘I was absolutely heartbroken.
‘I was setting up for our annual charity dog show for at the time I got the news.
‘I just turned to my mum and into her arms.
‘Every day that he survived we got more hope that he would pull through, so to get that phone call was absolutely devastating.’
Joanna has since set up a Gofundme page to pay for the vet bill and a memorial for Asher, raising more than £3,000 so far.
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She added: ‘No decision has yet been made for the rest of the money, as we are all too upset right now.‘It will hopefully go towards helping dogs like Asher – whether that is by setting up a fund or trying to pass a law.
‘If we have enough it would be great to help lots of causes, so as much good can come from this as possible.’An RSPCA spokeswoman said: ‘This was a horrendous and upsetting attack on a defenceless puppy and we are urging anyone with information about who is responsible to contact us on 0300 123 8018.’
Portland House Veterinary Surgery said it was with ‘great sadness’ that they had put the puppy down.
It added: ‘His condition deteriorated significantly overnight to the point that our veterinary team had to make the difficult decision. Unfortunately his injuries proved too severe.
‘We would like to thank everyone for their care, compassion and support over the last few days.’