Abused dog which sparked internet outcry gets vision back and new lease of life after operation
A deaf and blind dog – which became the centre of an outcry after footage of it being beaten was spread on the internet – is on the road to a happy recovery.
Dodger – who was previously named Butch – is in safe hands and receiving treatment at the Animal Health Trust, in Suffolk, for severe cataracts in both eyes.
As reported, the dog's then owner, Jonathan Bloomfield, was filmed punching the 18-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier twice in the face.
The footage was posted on Facebook and Youtube, and people gathered outside Bloomfield's address in Stanley Street, Grimsby, to express their anger.
Bloomfield, who now lives in London, was subsequently prosecuted for animal cruelty and banned from keeping dogs for 15 years.
Following the dog's rescue, the RSPCA sought advice from the trust's ophthalmologists to see if Dodger's sight problems could be rectified.
Cataracts in dogs is inherited and can occur at any age. It means Dodger had a cloudy film covering the eye, making it unable to see clearly.
Claudia Hartley, head of small animal ophthalmology at the trust, said: "Dodger is the most adorable dog. As soon as he arrived, I fell in love with him and it wasn't long before he'd worked his charm on the rest of the vets and nurses here."
Vets initially performed cataract surgery on Dodger's right eye and it became apparent very quickly that it was able to see again.
Dodger returned to the trust in February to have an operation on his left eye, and the initial signs are very good.
Now, Dodger is looking for a new home, in the meantime he is being cared for at the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre, in Cambridgeshire.
"Both of Dodger's operations went very well and we're confident he now has sight in both eyes," said Claudia.
"It's an absolute joy to be able to help dogs like Dodger who will now, hopefully, have a much brighter future.
"Dodger won us over with his charm and affectionate nature. I have two Staffies of my own and if I had room for another I'd certainly be taking this lovely young chap home.
"We all hope he will find a home forever, and a home which deserves a dog as special as him."
Kirstyn Gaunt, deputy manager at the centre, said: "Dodger is an amazing dog and everyone who meets him instantly falls in love with him.
"He is just such a loveable character, and when it was discovered he was deaf and unable to see clearly, we wanted to do all we could to give him a second chance.
"We were all in tears when we heard that the trust could carry out the operation for him and give him the gift of sight again – we are so extremely grateful to them for their help.
"Although Dodger can now see, he is still completely deaf, and he'll need a special owner who can understand his very specific needs.
"He has started to take on some basic sign language and he is a fast learner. Everyone who meets Dodger is bowled over by his loveable nature and character. We know that somewhere out there is the perfect home for him, where he will be able to enjoy a fantastic life with a loving family."
Dodger is still receiving follow-up treatment for his eyes.
This will continue for several weeks, but anyone interested in offering him a new home can call the centre on 0300 1230726 or call 0300 1238405 or e-mail [email protected]
Source: This is Grimsby