Twiggy’s story is one of thousands that the world hears of daily. And, sadly, the ones we hear about seem to be just a small percentage of cases. The story of Twiggy is as heart-breaking and heart-warming as the many we hear and see each day.
Royal Canin South Africa, manufacturers and suppliers of the Royal Canin® range of canine and feline health nutrition products, being at the heart of the pet industry, is a company that gets to hear of these stories all too regularly. Marketing manager, Tarryn Day, says that animal welfare organisations are stretched to the limit. “When it comes to rescuing just one dog they often utilise nearly all their resources, both from a financial and human resource viewpoint, and to be responsible for so many welfare cases, they face enormous challenges to remain a sustainable care centre.”
Twiggy, was found tied up in a yard in Snake Park, Roodepoort. She was extremely skinny and sickly, weighing a meagre 14kg when she was confiscated by Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW). Literally skin and bones, her skeleton was clearly visible at all parts of her body. It was difficult to imagine how much suffering she endured.
Day quotes from reports she received, “One of CLAW’s field workers found Twiggy bound to a pole with a metal u-bolt fastened around her ankle. This had resulted in a serious foot infection and paralysis of the affected foot.”
Twiggy was immediately confiscated and antibiotics administered with some relief for her being provided with painkillers. CLAW, being a welfare organisation were already stretched to the limits and were not able to find human resources to look after Twiggy on the first night. They turned to social media and Bev Schillings from North Riding quickly responded. With help from her husband, they looked after Twiggy. She was in a frightful state, vomiting the food she was given to eat by the clinic. No hope was given to Twiggy to survive the night. The Schillings prepared for the worst and made her as comfortable as they could, giving her as many blankets as they could find to keep her warm.
Twiggy, however, regained her fighting spirit, waking the Schillings up at 5am in the morning with a good old face licking and wagging tail. There was something in her eyes telling them that she wanted to live.
It was the social media plea that caught the attention of Tarryn Day at Royal Canin. She says, “I called right away to offer a visit from one of our veterinarians, to provide an initial diagnosis and to recommend a specific feeding programme to get Twiggy back to health as soon as possible. Knowing the financial difficulties faced by many animal welfare organisations, we committed to sponsoring food and veterinary care for Twiggy.”
Just as Twiggy received a lifeline, she received bad news. Her foot had succumbed to the severe infection and had to be amputated. Royal Canin covered the cost of this operation and the two week hospital stay after complications were experienced.Twiggy was finally discharged to spend some loving time with the Schillings on 30 March.
Good news finally followed on 21 April when no infection was evident and by 24 April the all-clear was given when the wound was stitched closed. Day and the Royal Canin team were delighted to hear that Twiggy’s story had a happy ending, “We so eldom hear of good news in stories like Twiggy’s and a life saved is worth so much to us. We are grateful too that there are caring and responsible pet owners like the Schillings’ who, without hesitation, go out of their way to help the animals.”
Claw is situated in Durban Deep in Roodepoort. They offer basic veterinary care to impoverished communities. CLAW’s focus is on sterilisation, vaccinations, deworming and tick and flea treatment as well as treating sick and injured animals. To donate, adopt, sponsor or join a CLAW event, visit their website, www.clawsa.wix.com, or pop onto their Facebook page.
Royal Canin® is a global pet nutrition company that focusses on highly digestible, highly palatable and specific diets for cats and dogs. Available at veterinary clinics and specialized outlets, Royal Canin provides the perfect nutritional solution for each pet including a full range of tasty prescription foods for those pets with veterinary-diagnosed ailments and diseases. A member of the Pet Food Industry of South Africa (PFI), Royal Canin® is represented globally in many countries on their pet food forums and is active in helping to raise the quality and food safety standards worldwide.
For more information on how health nutrition can assist veterinary care, contact Royal Canin South Africa on 0860 630 063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.