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Stray dog Tali bounces back – thanks to strangers’ kindness

A STRAY dog whose life was saved thanks to the kindness of strangers is now back on her paws – and keeping her new owners on their feet.
The three-year-old Jack Russell made headlines last October when Jessica Shepherd found her after she had been knocked down near Barnard Castle. 
Instead of handing the dog to the vets, Jessica, from Baldersdale, decided to do all she could to help save the dog’s life. It proved to be a costly affair that the recently graduated student could not afford on her own. 
With the help of her boyfriend Adam Hatton, Jessica set about raising almost £3,500 to pay for an operation to fix the dog’s fractured femur and shattered pelvis. 
She said: “I knew if anyone else had taken her she would have been put to sleep because her injuries were so bad so I decided that if her owner didn’t come forward I would keep her. But when I heard how much the vet’s bill would be I couldn’t believe it. 
“I rang my boyfriend in hysterics but he said we could do it, he was so calm which gave me the faith that we could do it somehow.”
In a desperate bid to save the dog, which she has named Tali, Adam set up a fundraising page and in just hours donations started to come in from as far away as the US. 
Jessica said: “It was overwhelming. I was a bit sceptical as to whether people would donate but by the end of the first night the money was just flooding in. Random people who don’t know us were sending us money, it’s so nice to think that they’d give their hard earned money for a little dog they’d never met before.”
As well as money coming from animal lovers across the globe, a lot of the funds were raised closer to home thanks to anonymous donations and a fundraising gig featuring local musicians. 
Jessica, who lives with her parents Karen and John, said: “Everyone was wonderful, just so kind. I’d really like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to Nancy Bell, from Evenwood, who sent us a donation and a lovely letter after she’d seen the article in the Mercury, but she never enclosed her address so we couldn’t send her a thank you card.”
Following the operation to repair her back leg, Tali was prescribed rest and recuperation, which meant spending weeks partly confined to a cage. 
But after the all clear from the vets, the energetic dog is eager to make up for lost time with the family’s other dog, Jip. 
“They get on really well and play tug of war together, he’s an old boy, he’s ten, but Tali has made him so much younger and she bosses him around. She’s such a happy dog,” says Jessica.
“But even when she was at her worst she was so lovely, despite the fact that she’d just been knocked over. She’s been a big responsibility. I don’t think I would have ever got myself a dog because I’d just finished college and the time wasn’t really right but I wouldn’t part with her now. She’s definitely my priority, but she a lovely priority.”


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