Abused puppies found in Dubai desert ‘lucky to be alive’

Stumpy and Bernard were just five weeks old when they were found abandoned, one with its paw hacked off, the other with damage to its paw pads.

DUBAI // Two puppies who were subjected to inconceivable acts of cruelty when only a few weeks old are in need of a loving home.
Stumpy and Bernard were just five weeks old when they were found abandoned in the desert to die – one with a paw deliberately hacked off and the other with damage to his foot pads.
Veterinarians treating the pair call it the worst case of abuse they have seen in Dubai. Zoe Hamilton, of Vienna Veterinary Clinic in Umm Seqeim, said the pair were taken into the clinic by Lisa Subel, a South African who lives in Jebel Ali Village.
Ms Subel found the stricken animals dumped in wasteland near the outlet mall on the Dubai-Al Ain Road on Tuesday, after a call from a woman who saw them.
Dr Hamilton, who treated the puppies at the clinic in Al Thanya Street, is in no doubt their wounds were deliberate.
"I have seen similar things like this on older dogs but nothing comparable on dogs this young," said the Australian.
"I don't know how anyone could do something like this to an animal so small. We see a lot of cruelty to older animals who haven't been trained properly but these two were so young.
"A week ago they would have been doing little more than eating and sleeping. Why someone would do this is very hard to understand."
Now in recovery, they are looking for patient, loving owners.
But there is one catch – Stumpy and Bernard are a job lot. Their shared experience has made them inseparable.
Ms Subel said that when she found the tiny pair they were so ill she thought one had died.
"The dark one, Stumpy, was just lying there. I thought he was dead," she said. "The little white one was very lethargic.
"No one knew exactly what had happened to them. There is no reason to it, just plain, abusive cruelty. They have done well to survive."
The wound to Stumpy's right paw was so severe that his leg had to be amputated at the shoulder. Bernard had lesser wounds to his right paw but needed treatment for an infection. It is not clear what breed the two pups are.
Both were underweight, dehydrated and had severe cases of worms. They are expected to make a full recovery, although the long-term psychological damage caused by their ordeal may not be apparent for some time.
Dr Hamilton said that the cuts straight through the bone must have been made by a knife or very sharp wire.
"It is not something you would see if it had been done by another animal or in an accident," she said.
"Considering what they had been through, they were lucky to be alive, and were clearly in enormous pain. It was an abusive situation."
One explanation is that someone tried to treat injuries the two dogs may have had, rather than take them to a vet.
Help is available for anyone who finds an animal in need of medical attention. Many clinics in Dubai offer reduced charity rates for rescued animals, or payment plans for pets if there are financial difficulties.
Dr Hamilton said many people did not consider the responsibilities that came with pet ownership before they took it on.
"If you are getting a pet, you need to plan financially if there is an accident," she added.
"It is a huge commitment having a pet. People see small animals but they soon grow and need a lot of attention.
"It is like having a baby. A lot of training and exercise is needed to have a healthy and grown-up dog. You need to think about what happens when you go away in summer or what family helpers think about pets."
Kremena Ivanova runs the 38smiles pet charity that helps to pay for the treatment of rescued animals. It has covered the bill for Stumpy's and Bernard's care.
"No cost is too high for us when it comes to giving an animal a second chance," Ms Ivanova said. "But we need donations and new homes for many animals."
To offer a contribution, foster or adopt one of the animals in need of new homes, visit www.38smiles.com.