Scarred, emaciated and alone was how the dog warden found George, that was how he looked when his photo was uploaded to a page of unwanted dogs just like him. The dog warden tried their hardest but despite attempts and the other dogs around him finding somewhere to go, it appeared nobody wanted George.

His luck changed when someone from Jerry Green Dog Rescue saw that face and couldn’t not act, it is what we do, be there when no one else will be…

One of the Dog Welfare Assistants at the South Lincs Centre contacted the dog warden to see if they could help. It wasn’t good news not only was George emaciated, the 10-year-old Mastiff cross had trouble walking.

The Dog Welfare Assistant immediately spoke with the Centre Manager, to see if they could accommodate this dog who was so in need of help. The Centre Manager knew rescuing George would be no small task, his future at that time was uncertain, his suffering could simply have gone on too long. Knowing the team had not long lost a dog who had had complicated medical problems, the Centre Manager had to consider her team.

The loss of any Jerry Green dog hits the team hard as the only thing anyone wants to see is them happy and safe in their new home. Unfortunately, sometimes in rescue it isn’t always happy ever after.

As expected the team rallied, no dog was going to stay alone and scared, the whole team’s view was ‘this is what we are here for, to help dogs like George have a chance of a happy life’. They knew it was the right thing to take him in and do what they could.

It was a heartfelt day as another dog came in at the same time. His story was also one of pain and sadness, as he had been beaten in the street by his owner.

Upon arrival George was taken straight to the vet for an initial clinical assessment. He was put on pain relief as the vet thought a spinal problem was causing his walking to be so wobbly; they remarked on the muscle atrophy to his head (this meant that part of his muscle had wasted away); they noted that his teeth had worn down; that he had an enlarged prostate (and so would need to be neutered); that he was probably deaf; and that his eyesight wasn’t great. All this on top of his body condition being so poor. Unless you have driven a dog to or from the vet in that state with those conditions it is hard to comprehend the emotional strain on the staff and also how much, dogs like George, genuinely need our help. No-one else was there for him, he could have still been in the pound or worse.

One thing was for certain, George was happy to be at the Centre. One team member remarked that ‘his tail hadn’t stopped wagging since he arrived!’. Where had George been? Why was he in such a state? The team were determined that George would know what it was to be truly loved.

The team got to work ensuring he was on the correct diet; that his medications were administered; that he had gentle exercise and enrichment; and that George had a comfortable room and garden, it wasn’t home they weren’t his family but he was loved from the second he came through the door.

If only love could heal him, it soon became clear that there were other clinical issues going on and so other tests were undertaken. It was discovered that George had a urine infection and so was put on antibiotics to help with this. Poor George was on so many medications he might rattle!

The team were working hard to try and make sure George was going to pull through but there was always the concern that he may not be strong enough to get better. George was heartbreak waiting to happen as the team had so fallen in love with him.

But George was a strong character! He would always greet the team with the waggiest of tails and would just want to be with you. He would sometimes howl when left but will soon fall asleep (often on his ‘day bed’ strategically placed in the sunniest spot in his garden) or play with his toys.

George was seen by an orthopaedic specialist vet who x-rayed (and neutered) him. It was discovered that he had spondylosis in his spine and some hip dysplasia. This was a turning point as the team needed to know if he had a good quality of life or if it was time to say goodbye to their George.

Thankfully his vet felt he had good quality of life and that the pain relief medication was working well. He did have some golden rules to abide by though. George must always be walked on a harness; he must not go off lead; and he must always be lifted in and out of a vehicle. All measures to support his back as much as possible. George was also cleared to be able to attend regular hydrotherapy sessions to help him – something he loved to do! His hydrotherapists even bought him ham every week for his sessions as he was such a special boy!

This opinion gave the team the green light to push forward and find George his home. George was then put on the website to find his special person. We worked tirelessly for months to find George a home, but it was not meant to be.

When George's health began to deteriorate and we had to make the difficult decision not to continue with his rehoming journey, although deeply upsetting, we knew that was what was best for him. He was so happy at the Centre, with us, his family. Right up until it was time to say goodbye, he felt true love and so did we. 

The team at our South Lincolnshire Centre would like to share with you a video they have put together to celebrate the life of their treasured friend.

For George, forever in our hearts xxx