A dog that survived being shot in the head with a crossbow in a story that touched the hearts of dozens of readers is in the running for a national award.
Ziggy, a Staffie, hit headlines locally and globally when he was found in woodland near Wansford with the crossbow through his head in October last year.
He has now been selected as a finalist in the PDSA Pet Survivor Awards and is up against five other pets with remarkable stories.
Ziggy was found by horrified dog walkers who rushed him to Vets4Pets in Peterborough. Despite his injuries, he was still bright, friendly and wagging his tail.
Vet Cees Bennett operated to remove it after X-rays showed the bolt had missed vital blood vessels, nerves and his canals.
He said: “It was a one-in-a-million chance that he had survived.
“Ziggy’s recovery was nothing short of miraculous. Within two weeks of having the surgery, it was hard to tell anything had even happened to him.”
Dominic O’Hare and Anna Burtonwood, of Watford, were selected to rehome him and Ziggy settled into his new home in time for Chrismtas last year.
Dominic said: “He’s such an incredible dog – despite everything he’s been through, he’s still incredibly trusting and affectionate.”
Mr Bennett nominated Ziggy, now three-years-old for the award. The charity was inundated with extraordinary tales for the judging panel, which included Sean Wensley, a PDSA Senior Vet and current President of the British Veterinary Association.
The winner will be decided by a public vote, which opens today. Visit www.pdsa.org.uk/petsurvivor to vote for Ziggy.
The other finalists are:
Honey the cat – was blasted in the face with a marble-sized metal ball-bearing
Ozzy the cat – lost his leg after being attacked by a dog
Penny the Pointer – live to tell the tale after a 50mph collision with a lorry
Ruby the kitten – suffered horrific chemical burns to 50 per cent of her body
Suki the Miniature Schnauzer – was left with prolapsed intestines after a dog attack
Commenting on the finalists, Sean Wensley said: “Reading these extraordinary cases made me proud to represent such a hard-working and dedicated profession – vets, vet nurses and supporting staff save lives of precious pets like these every day. The tenacity and will to survive that these pets demonstrated, along with the love and devotion shown by their owners, make them all worthy winners.”
The competition was open to pets treated by a vet in the UK between August 1, 2014 and August 1, 2015. Only one vote per person is allowed, the winner will receive the coveted PDSA Pet Survivor trophy and a year’s free PDSA pet insurance. Voting closes at midnight on 13 December 2015.