PAINFUL TIME: Donna Stewart, of South Lismore, with Grizzly Bear, who is still recovering from surgery to repair damage caused
PAINFUL TIME: Donna Stewart, of South Lismore, with Grizzly Bear, who is still recovering from surgery to repair damage caused

Pet owner left with $600 vet bill

By Jamie Brown

THE sound of snarling dogs and the sight of flying fur outside Donna Stuart's South Lismore home early on Saturday morning still brings tears to this animal lover's eyes.

All the more so because one of those creatures was her beloved Grizzly Bear.

The affectionate mini-fox terrier cross Staffordshire bull terrier, aged nine years, has no history of aggression, despite his breeding and rough diamond name.

But he met more than his match on the night, ending up with deep puncture wounds and muscle tearing.

The resulting stitches and Penrose drains, inserted into the wound to drain pus and other fluids, are not a pretty sight.

But Grizzly will mend well, thanks to Donna's affection and the skill of Nick Jones, of the Lismore Vet Clinic. The real question is how Donna will cope with the pain of her beloved pet.

In fact, Grizzly belongs to Donna's housemate, now on holiday in New Zealand, and she feels terrible the dog was attacked while in her care.

"It's been an emotional time," she conceded yesterday.

Donna, who may be known to Nimbin FM listeners as 'Starshine', recalls returning home around midnight, opening the door to her home and being greeted by her faithful friends Grizzly Bear, along with her adopted German shepherd and her little chihuahua.

Her arms were full of packages and in the confusion Grizzle bolted out the door into the foggy night, and the door slammed shut behind her as she rushed upstairs to drop her bundle.

When the fighting started, Donna raced back downstairs to find the deadlock on the front door bolted, with a key required to open it.

"I panicked," she admitted. It took some time to get the door open and by the time she shooed Grizzly's attackers into the foggy night, her poor pet was in a bad way.

"I feel guilty that I couldn't get out the door fast enough."

Now Donna, who lives off the pension, faces nearly $600 in vet bills which she will pay off. But she says the owners of the three attacking dogs a boxer, a medium-sized tan bitser and another she couldn't identify might consider paying the Lismore Vet Clinic for her troubles. One lives in hope.



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