The Dog Rescuers and the Tragic Case of Reo
I am an avid viewer of the Channel 5 series the Dog Rescuers which is presented by Alan Davies. The programme follows RSPCA inspectors as they rescue animals from appalling circumstances. Each episode is something of an emotional roller coaster but this week’s offering actually drove me to tears.
Inspector Antony Joynes had visited a house in Merseyside two years ago and discovered a German shepherd with an ear infection. He had advised the owner to seek treatment for the condition but now found himself back at the property after the RSPCA had received calls regarding the plight of the dog.
Joynes was clearly irate and close to tears when he emerged from the house with poor Reo. The dog was in a truly horrendous state with hideous open wounds and sores all over her head. The ear infection had clearly been left to fester and had spiralled out of control. Reo had scratched herself raw in an attempt to alleviate her own suffering. The infection would have been easy to treat at the outset but now the dog was in such a poor condition and in so much pain that Joynes felt that she was probably doomed.
I felt completely devastated just watching the programme. How could anybody be so cruel? Reo looked pitiful and I could barely bring myself to continue watching the programme.
Touch and Go
Reo was taken to a vet who decided to give her a chance to recover. It was touch and go for Reo as the vet was only prepared to continue treatment if the dog’s pain could be managed quickly. Watching on in horror, I felt that this was a story which could only have a tragic outcome. But I was wrong!
Reo immediately began to respond to treatment. Her infection had been caused by ear mites and bacteria. Repeated cleaning of the wounds and medication over a period of weeks meant that Reo would be able to make a full recovery. Happily, the nine year old dog was quickly reserved by a new owner and Reo’s story had a happy ending after all.
Made to Pay
Meanwhile Anthony Joynes was determined to pursue Reo’s original owner. It transpired that the woman had booked Reo in to be put down on the very day that Joynes had rescued the dog. She was prosecuted for neglect, found guilty and given a suspended prison sentence together with a lifetime ban from keeping animals.
If you haven’t seen this episode of the Dog Rescuers then go to the Channel 5 website and look for Season 4 Episode 10. This terribly sad story demonstrates why you should always call the RSPCA if you suspect that a dog is being cruelly treated. The longer that these animals are left at the mercy of their owners, the less chance there is of being able to save them. Reo had a very close call indeed. It doesn’t matter if your concerns prove to be unfounded and the owners of the animals will never know that it was you who reported them.