More than £1,000 has been raised for a poorly puppy which will die without a life-saving operation.
Alfie the four-month-old German Shepherd has a one in 10,000 birth defect which means the pup is prone to potentially lethal urinary infections.
Marnie Williams and her son Trent have started a successful fundraising campaign to help pay for their pet’s operation.
Trent, 20, is determined to give his furry friend a future: “It means absolutely everything to me. I would feel cruel that we have not even given him a chance.”
The pair, from Douglas Avenue, Goring, had Alfie for three weeks before noticing something was wrong.
When Marnie found an unresponsive Alfie below her garden decking on June 16, she ripped it up to rescue the puppy as she believed her dog had gone away to die.
The worried 47-year-old whisked her sick pet to Ferring Street Veterinary Surgery in Ferring Street, Ferring who then sent the pair to a specialist surgery in Winchester.
The staff at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists diagnosed the German Shepherd with bilateral ectopic ureters – which means the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys were too low down, and had given Alfie a serious infection.
At one point, Marnie thought they would have to put down the newest addition to their family. She said: “I’m a strong believer that if you have animals, you are their voice. They can’t tell you if they are in pain or what choice they want, you have to make it for them.
“I believed I wasn’t going to be signing Alfie up for a lifetime of distress and illness – if for one minute I did, I would have let him go.”
And she was right, as after several weeks of strict dieting Alfie has recovered from the infection. However, Alfie’s future is still in doubt unless the puppy can get a £3,500 operation to correct the tubes – and it cannot be fully covered by insurance until next year, which would be too late. So to make up the £2,000 difference, Marnie decided to ask the community for help.
The Egremont Pub in Brighton Road has offered to host a quiz night on August 17, with raffle prizes donated by local businesses, and an online campaign called #comeonalfie has led to more than £1,000 in donations – including £200 from an anonymous sender.
She said: “It really restores your faith in community that total strangers have put their hands in their pockets, whether it is to donate £200 or £2.
“When it comes down to it, the Worthing community is very compassionate.”
Marnie said she would give any excess donations to the Ferring surgery, or set up her own charity for dog owners in a similar situation.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/comeonalfie