A mission is underway to find a loving home for a puppy who has spent most of his life trapped behind bars and ignored.Raymond was given as an unwanted gift to a family who already had a dog who they lavished with praise and affection.
He watched from his pen in dismay as the other dog was played with and taken for walks without him.The family from the Greek island of Zakynthos, known as Zante, gave better food to their favourite pet while Raymond had to make do with scraps.
But 11-month-old Raymond now has a chance at happiness, after the household asked Healing Paws Animal Rescue to find him a new home.The UK charity was set up eight years ago by Sue Deeth, visited the island for work and decided to stay there in 2004 to help its myriad abandoned dogs and strays. She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I’m not the sort of person who can drive along the road and see a box of puppies and leave them there.
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‘It’s not right to see a dog chained to a metal bollard in the sun.
‘I encourage the tourists to go to the police when they are here as a way to start the change, and it’s happening, more people are starting to get fined.’
She says Raymond, a setter/spaniel mix, would get shouted at by his neglectful owners whenever he barked for attention.
After eight months, the family eventually called Sue, who took the dog to a vet for a health check – one of his few times being out and about.
After getting the all clear, one person expressed an interest in adopting Raymond but later dropped out.
Animal Rescue are no longer accepting foster applications as they are keen to find him a forever home and only move him once if possible so he isn’t unsettled.
Raymond hasn’t had the chance to socialise much and is still nervous around new dogs, but he is now being taken to a behaviourist to get him use to life out of the confides of his pen.
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Despite everything he’s been through, Sue, 55, says he has a nice and calm temperament and will do just fine at puppy training classes.
He understandably has a lot of pent up energy as he was never taken for walks, so be prepared to give him lots of time in the park.
Raymond has generally been okay with other dogs he met and got on with the family’s other pet, but he hasn’t come across many cats during his life.An appeal from Healing Paws added: ‘He will need an experienced dog family to train him and teach him that humans are good.
‘With the right family, he will be a wonderful companion.’
Raymond has been tested clear for bloodbourne illnesses and has had his vaccinations.Sue, originally from Milford, Surrey, says stay or abandoned dogs are the responsibility of the Greek government by law.
But local police forces and municipalities rarely have the resources to deal with them.
Sue says a big bulk of the problem stems from owners not getting their dogs neutered and not knowing what to do with their puppies when they inevitably get impregnated.
The professional reiki healer, who has about 60 dogs at her Zante home, says she once came across a litter of puppies inside a box of a newly purchased iron.
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She says others are simply poisoned or taken to the mountains and shot.
Sue added: ‘It ruins people’s holidays if they’re staying in a hotel and at the back is a cries all night or seeing a stray dog kicked out of a taverna.
‘Loads of people do say I’m never coming back there.’
Healing Paws checks the homes of people who want to adopt to make sure it is suitable for their animals.
The adoption fee for one dog is £415 including vet fees, transport costs.