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left for dead Heartbroken dog owner makes desperate plea for help to get beloved lurcher lifesaving surgery

Ten weeks old Ralph was found thin, malnourished and suffering from frost bite in Ballina

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Ann Marie and Ralph Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Ann Marie and Ralph Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Ann Marie and Ralph Photo: Seamus Farrelly

The heartbroken owner of a dog that was abandoned, starved and left for dead on the side of the road has made a desperate plea to help her beloved pooch get lifesaving surgery.

When six month old loveable lurcher Ralph was found in Ballina Co, Mayo at just ten weeks old he was malnourished, painfully thin, suffering from frost bite and was so desperately riddled with fleas he needed a blood transfusion with vets not expecting the pup to survive.

Having been taken in by the North West SPCA rescue in Ballina and fostered by a doting animal lover, fighter Ralph was nursed back to health and adopted by Meath woman Anne Marie McElroy.

Sadly, Anne Marie from Duleek who already had a lurcher called Theo discovered recently that Ralph has a congenital disorder called Short Radius Syndrome and needs immediate surgery on his leg or he will never walk again and face an uncertain future.

The medical fees will amount to around €3,000 and a fundraising campaign has been set up to help pay for the procedure with over €800 raised so far.

Speaking on Ralph's challenges, Anne Marie said:

“One of his bones in his leg hasn’t been growing and will never grow, he is lame at the moment and he needs to get a pin put into his leg in order for him to ever walk again.

“He is a part of our family now and has had such a tough start in life it is heartbreaking to see him suffering.

"He is healthy apart from this so I couldn't bear the thoughts of putting him down.

“We have put an extendable baby gate between the kitchen and the sunroom and he stays within that space and that’s his life at the moment. He can stand but he’s holding the leg up and we help him out to the back garden to go to the toilet and bring him back in.

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Housebound Ralph looks on as pals play outside

Housebound Ralph looks on as pals play outside

Housebound Ralph looks on as pals play outside

“He is so friendly, lively and kind. Ralph spends his days looking outside at all of the other dogs out playing, it's devastating.

"My other dog Theo looks at him through a gate and doesn’t know why he can’t play with his friend."

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The Duleek dog lover says she “instantly fell in love” with the lovely lurcher when she found him online.

“I was on a lurcher appreciation page for Ireland and the UK and somebody shared his picture with the description of him being handed in at ten weeks on the side of the road. He was full of flees, had frostbitten ears and a broken back leg and of course the heart strings went immediately.

“I got on to the shortlist, had an over the phone interview and we got him. At that stage he had been given the all clear, his back leg had been healed and he was grand, and about a couple of weeks ago he took a growth spurt and noticed he had a little limp and went to the vets, they put him on pain killers for a week.”

Vets later discovered that Ralph had a congenital disorder and needed surgery and Anne Marie says setting up a fundraising page was a last resort.

“When a dog comes into your home, they are your family; Ralph is our family now, we love him and we want to save him.

“He loves cuddles he is like a big teddy bear. We just want to go to the beach with him and just let the two of them off to play and be normal dogs.”

Karen Egan who fostered the lovable lurcher says she has never seen a dog so badly treated in all of her years caring for the animals. She said:

“I have fostered almost 200 dogs for the rescue and I have never come across a puppy so thin in all of my life.

“The vets didn’t think he would survive. I took him in and was hand feeding him every two hours just to try to get him back to health.”

Search Ralph needs your help to get emergency leg surgery on GofundMe.

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