Rescue dog Lucy has a terrible tale to tell, but she’s travelled around 5,000 miles to find a new home - in St Annes.
The eight year-old whippet cross was flown from The Dominican Republic to Amsterdam, crossed the English Channel by ferry and was taken by car from the south coast to new owner, Coral Smith, in St Annes.
Lucy was saved from certain death by an English animal sanctuary owner in the Dominican Republic.
But when funds ran out, Pauline Wren tried to re-home her animals, and called upon her university friend, Coral.
Retired IT business analyst, Coral, 68, says: “I met Lucy when I flew over to visit my friend, Pauline, earlier this year.
“It broke my heart when I heard how Lucy was brought to the sanctuary in a state of collapse.
Lucy’s owner himself had been beaten, tied up and left without food as a child, and he repeated the pattern in the way he treated the dogCoral Smith
“She had been beaten and hanged on barbed wire, her eyes were bulging, and she was a bag of bones.
“There was a maggot-infested, inch-deep open wound around her neck and the dog was severely dehydrated.
“It took an hour for the vet to sew up her neck under local anaesthetic, as she was too weak to withstand a general anaesthetic.
“Lucy started to eat a couple of spoons of food every hour. Gradually she gained in strength.
“She was only nine months old when she was found, and had already given birth to a litter.
“It transpired that Lucy’s Haitian labourer owner punished her for killing two golden peacocks when she was half starved, and maybe trying to feed her pups. The owner of the peacocks wanted compensation which the labourer couldn’t afford.
“Lucy’s owner himself had been beaten, tied up and left without food as a child, and he repeated the pattern in the way he treated the dog.
“With barely enough to feed themselves, many people in the Dominican Republic take on an animal and just throw it scraps and bones.
“Although Lucy had a terrible start in life, she turned out to be one of the lucky ones.
“When my friend’s charity for children and animals, Project Isobel, was being forced to close due to lack of support, I couldn’t refuse when Pauline asked me to take Lucy. She’s bringing another four dogs and two cats back to her home in Rugby.
“It cost around £650, just for Lucy’s travel costs.
“This included a travel cage, microchipping and anti-rabies vaccination, which can enable a dog to travel after 90 days and avoid quarantine, paperwork and flight to Amsterdam.
“My friend brought Lucy across the channel by ferry and by car to St Annes, to save expense.
“Lucy settled in quite quickly, and my other rescue dog, Bruce, a Jack Russell cross, has realised she’s here to stay.
“They don’t take too much notice of each other really, but Bruce lets Lucy lie on his much-guarded security blanket.
“Lucy’s a lovely dog and after all she’s been through I’m pleased to give her a loving home,” adds Coral.