Poorly pooch gets new loving home

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Skye with owner Julie McElhinney
Skye with owner Julie McElhinney

By Cara Sulieman

A DOG with a rare eating disease has finally found a loving new home – after being put on display by desperate animal workers at the Royal Highland Show.

Blue merle collie Skye suffers a rare condition that means she finds it difficult to eat and needs to take daily medication.

The charity took her in when her previous owner couldn’t cope with the illness and the 18-month-old pooch was almost half the weight she should have been.

She had always attracted initial interest from visitors to the Scottish SPCA kennels.

But potential owners were put off by her medical history.

Scottish SPCA tent

However big hearted Julie and Ross McElhinney from Edinburgh fell in love with her as soon as they saw her on show at Ingliston.

Julie, 27, said: “We had been thinking about getting a dog for a while and had been looking at some websites and things.

“When we were at the Highland Show we popped into the Scottish SPCA tent because they had so many pictures up for the animals that needed homes.

“Just one was there, Skye, and at first we thought that she was someone’s dog because so many people were crowded round petting her.

“But I saw her photo on the wall and went over to say hello.

“She is just a lovely dog and is settling in really well. She gets really excited when she’s around the guinea pigs but I’m assuming she’ll calm down.”

“Complete opposite”

And they say that her need for medical care doesn’t bother them as many of their other animals also need attention.

Julie said: “It didn’t put us off at all. If anything it was the complete opposite.

“We knew it would make it harder for Skye to find a home and as we weren’t bothered about her condition we wanted to take her.

“We’ve had lots of rescue animals who need medication before so it doesn’t bother us at all.”

Rare illness

Manager of the Scottish Borders rehoming centre, Debbie Bottomley, said, “Skye has a rare illness called pancreatic insufficiency, which means she cannot digest food without medication.

“Unfortunately, she hadn’t been receiving the right medication and weighed only 12.5kgs when she arrived with us when she should have weighed around 20kgs.

“If Skye had not been rescued and given the medication she needs then she would have starved to death within a few months.”

But after her visit to the Royal Highland Show, Skye has now moved in with her new owners and their other pets.

“Delighted”

With two ponies, two guinea pigs, a chinchilla, fish and a cockatiel, the McElhinneys have a big heart when it comes to homeless animals.

The Scottish SPCA said they are thrilled that they have managed to match the pooch up with a suitable owner.

Debbie Bottomley said: “We were delighted when Julie and Ross followed up their interest and she now has a brilliant home.

“Skye will need medication every day for the rest of her life, so she had to be found the right owners who would give her all the care and love she needs.”

Anyone who wants to rehome an animal or donate money to the charity can visit scottishspca.org or 03000 999 999.

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