Brave paralysed dog rescued from Syria earthquake gets new wheels and a new home

Bobby the stray dog has been given a second chance at life after being found ‘paralysed and in pain’ by rescuers in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Syria

A paralysed stray dog, rescued from the aftermath of the earthquake in northern Syria, has been given a permanent home and set of life-changing wheels by his rescuers.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s partner rescue organisation, House of Cats Ernesto, found the pup “lying in the mud at the side of a field” after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on February 6.

The team named the abandoned animal Bobby, which is a local nickname for ‘dog’, and refused to leave him behind, taking him to their clinic for a warm bath, food and water.

Over the last two months, the charity has provided emergency funding to four animal rescue organisations across Turkey and northern Syria for earthquake response efforts.


Bobby was found lying in the mud in a field by himself after the earthquake

It has been reported that more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria were killed and a further 100,000 were injured following the two powerful earthquakes in February.
“When we came across the dog lying in the mud at the side of a field, we were very moved,” Dr Ahmad Yousef, House of Cats Ernesto vet, said.

“He was soaked to the skin and covered in mud. It was hard to even see what colour he was. Paralysed in his back legs and barely able to move, he struggled to sit up for us.


The paralysed pup was fed, washed and nursed back to health by determined rescuers

“It was hard to see him like this and so we took him back to Ernesto’s sanctuary and gave him pain relief, a warm bath and a meal.”

At the time, Bobby struggled to respond to treatment and physiotherapy as “his spine had been crushed”.

But he soon adapted to life at the clinic and particularly enjoyed his brushed-out blow dry.

The team researched how they could help Bobby walk again and tried to find a wheelchair for paralysed dogs, but were unable to do so.

Instead, they found equipment and a local contractor to build a custom-made set of wheels for little Bobby.


Bobby soon settled into life at the sanctuary and bonded with his new friends

Today, the adorable pup has a new lease of life, and walks, runs and plays with other dogs at the sanctuary.

In the long term, they plan to order him a more durable canine wheelchair.

“He is now at the farm and we will give him back some dignity and mobility. He is a kind and gentle dog. He deserves this chance at least,” Dr Yousef said.

After developing a special bond, Ernesto has decided to make Bobby a permanent resident at the sanctuary – so he will live out his days with his new family.


The stray dog was given a custom-made set of wheels to help him run around

Since the earthquake, IFAW has supported Ernesto to rescue, treat and help over a thousand animals impacted by the disaster through emergency grant funds.

The two organisations previously worked together during the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020.

“Individual animals like Bobby are the reason we work long hours and go the extra mile, especially during disasters,” Jennifer Gardner, from IFAW, said.

“We are proud to partner with House of Cats Ernesto knowing that our support enables a better life for rescued animals like Bobby.


He now has a permanent home with the team at House of Cats Ernesto in Syria

“Every day, their teams work in the rubble and in the communities to help animals and people recover from this terrible tragedy.”

Last month, a dog named Alex was pulled out from the rubble by rescue workers, after spending 23 days trapped beneath the building remains.

In heart-wrenching footage, the collie-type breed was hauled from a pit of crumbled concrete and passed back to his family, who were wearing high-vis jackets and helmets.

While Alex appeared surprisingly calm, his ecstatic owners fussed over him and shrieked with joy at having their best friend back.

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