The X-ray showed what was stuck inside this white dog’s body. The owner’s heart was broken.
Liz Haslam from Barnham, England has found her calling in life: she is a true animal lover and has devoted herself to the protection of dogs. As an experienced activist, Liz knows only too well the prejudice that some dog breeds experience. This can make it very difficult to find loving homes for certain kinds of dogs. For this reason, Liz has found a special place in her heart for a very misunderstood breed: the Bull Terrier.
Just turned my Bedsforbullies calendar over to November and look at this lovely photo. pic.twitter.com/civfpH4W55
— Bedsforbullies (@bedsforbullies) 1. November 2016
Early in 2015 Liz received a call from an animal protection group in Gökova, Turkey. Helpers from the organization had found a small, white Bull Terrier that had been badly abused. It was blind and almost completely deaf. Its face was covered with splats of paint that had come from being shot repeatedly by someone with a paintball gun. Other wounds on its face indicated that it had also been involved in illegal dog fights. If it hadn't been found, the dog would have soon died on those harsh streets.
The helpers had named the dog Eric and when Liz saw pictures of him, she knew she had to do everything in her power to get the poor animal to England. She knew that Eric wouldn't stand a chance without her, due to the prejudice that Bull Terriers suffer. Most people simply consider them "fighting dogs" and are unwilling to adopt them. But the task of getting Eric to England wasn't easy — the flight alone cost just over $3,000.
Eric here again with another lady ;) pic.twitter.com/jCJHac4H3i
— Bedsforbullies (@bedsforbullies) 24. März 2016
But finally the day came and Eric arrived safely at his new home in Barnham. The team at Animal Rescue Gökova had done a good job of taking care of his wounds and he looked much better than he had in the photos. There was, however, still a lot to be concerned about. The paintball pellets had left behind several wounds on Eric's face and they still had to be treated. Liz also found another serious wound that at first appeared to be just a cyst. She knew she had to get Eric to a vet as soon as possible.
What the vet found during the examination shocked Liz despite her years of experience in dealing with abused animals. What she had thought was a cyst actually turned out to be another projectile that was stuck right beside Eric's brain. A series of X-rays revealed the horrible truth: the paintball pellets were still lodged deep in Eric's skin and would soon lead to dangerous infections if not treated immediately.
Eric had been shot with paintballs over 50 times and most of the pellets were still in his body. This had also caused his blindness. Liz could only imagine how awful the poor dog's life had been on the streets in Turkey. "It is a wonder it didn't kill him straight away or he didn't die from septicaemia from the filthy conditions he was living in. It breaks my heart to think what he's been through but I can't allow that to tug on my heart strings because I have to get on with looking after him," explained Liz.
Eric here ! Not liking your cold weather in the UK but I am LOVING the warm cuddles pic.twitter.com/UYgHTKknBB
— Bedsforbullies (@bedsforbullies) 12. November 2015
And that's just what Liz did. Eric was now in a loving home and enjoying a real "dog's life." But he still needed medical treatment and Liz got busy collecting donations for her organization called "bedsforbullies" so he could have the necessary operations. The procedures to remove all the pellets would cost around $5,000, a hefty sum that took a long time to raise.
But thanks to some very generous donors, Eric soon got the operations he so desperately needed. "I live for my dogs and do everything I can for them. To enable to me continue what I do I need somebody to help me along the way with some funds. All the money is spent on them and I don't get a penny. I'm happy for people to donate to the vets directly so they can be sure where the money is going," said Liz.
Turkish Eric and one eyed deaf Molly out for walkies pic.twitter.com/6rNsXznLNv
— Bedsforbullies (@bedsforbullies) 3. Oktober 2015
Fortunately, Eric is no longer reliant on donations and now lives a very happy life with his new owner and her other rescued dogs. Now he can live out his days in peace and show everyone that Bull Terriers can be cute and loveable pets just like other dog breeds.
Thanks to some very dedicated and caring people, Eric was rescued from what was sure to be a very dismal fate. We wish Eric a long and happy life, and Liz and all the other helpers who were involved all the best. Keep up the good work!