A dog who lost part of her nose due to abuse at the hands of Chinese meat traders has received enough money to undergo life-changing facial reconstruction surgery after her owner crowdfunded £4,500 for treatment.
The Belgian shepherd, called Angel, was rescued from the brink of death in 2015 from Changchun, China, when activists seized a truckload of dogs destined for the slaughterhouse.
Her owner, Hollie Cornes, said that her rescuers matched her ‘horrific’ facial injuries to the tools that dog catchers use to get hold of pets.
We raised the money really quickly, which I never expected.
Hollie Cornes, 25, from Witney, Oxfordshire, who is now Angel’s owner, later launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the pooch’s facial reconstructive surgery which has largely been funded by the dog’s 30,000 Instagram followers.
The six-year-old dog had emergency surgery in Beijing before the Rushton Dog Rescue flew her to England. She was then adopted by Hollie who says she immediately fell in love with the pup.
Angel had largely learnt to cope with her injuries but the skin around her nose would frequently bleed and she often struggled to breathe.
Hollie contacted world-renowned vets Fitzpatrick Referrals to see what they could do.
I personally think this surgery has been life-changing for her.
One Instagram fan out of 30,000 even paid £2,500 to fund a CT scan to get to the root of the issue.
But the results from scan revealed her ‘nose’ was sealed with scar tissue and she only had a 2mm hole to breathe through.
Hollie, who describes Angel as the ‘sweetest dog she’s ever come across’, then decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the pooch’s facial reconstructive surgery.
Hollie, from Witney in Oxfordshire, said: “We raised the money really quickly, which I never expected.
“Without the fundraising and her support system it wouldn’t have been an option – in total it added up to cost about £7,500 – which we never would have been able to afford.
“She’s got so many people that love and care about her [on social media] – it was only because of that that I thought it would be possible to raise that amount of money.
“We were told her initial CT scan would be £2,500 and one lady on Instagram sent the money straight away – which was incredible.
“I personally think this surgery has been life-changing for her.
“I didn’t want to put her through any more stress and surgery – none of this was for aesthetic reasons, I loved the way she looked before – it was purely based on her quality of life.”
She continued: Hollie said: “From looking at pictures of her she’s got half a nose, which I always assumed was the side that she could breathe through because aesthetically that looks like the normal side.
“They found that behind her nose was completely sealed over with scar tissue, so she wasn’t breathing through that side of the nose at all, but a 2mm hole the other side.
“As soon as we found out she was breathing through that tiny hole – it [surgery] was a no brainer.
The GoFundMe page hit the target in just four days and Angel underwent surgery the following week.
“Even if we can make that hole a little bigger so she can breathe easier it’s going to improve her quality of her life.”
Hollie said: “It just so happened that they’d [Rushton Dog Rescue] rescued this breed that I’d always wanted, I came across her and thought it was fate – I had to re-home this dog.
“I read more and looked at her pictures from before she was first rescued, and I suppose I wanted to bring this dog home even more to give her the life she’d never had.
‘She ran straight up to us across the field, we bought our other dog with us and they got on straight away – as soon as I saw her I knew I had to take her home with me.”