Can you help us find who dumped Valentine, the dog with a heart-shaped face?

Published: Friday, 14 February, 2020

*UPDATE: Veterinary surgeon Mark Norcott from Vale Vets Dursley says: "Surgery has gone well. Plate and screws used to secure the fracture of the radius. We didn't need to plate the ulna - this will remodel and repair Itself." Valentine went home with his foster carer on Saturday as planned. He has settled in very well and is reported as being ‘such a sweet boy’. 
Many thanks to everyone who has donated money towards Valentine’s operation and ongoing care. So far £1280 has been received in donations either directly to Vale Vets Dursley or the Go Fund Me page https://bit.ly/322AnnL. We will keep you updated on Valentine's progress via our Facebook page `Stroud District Council'.* 

Wrapped in an old curtain, this beautiful dog with a heart-shaped pattern on his face was dumped outside a vet’s surgery with a broken leg. He lay in the cold for ten hours until waste collectors found him and raised the alarm.

Now Stroud District Council’s Animal Welfare Officers - who have re-named the stunning Saluki lurcher Valentine in time for St Valentine’s Day – have warned owners not to trade dogs on selling websites, as he was. And they have appealed for anyone who may know anything about who owns Valentine and how he was injured to contact them.

A white van was captured on CCTV when Valentine – registered as Duke - was dumped but so far no evidence has emerged about those responsible.

“Valentine is micro-chipped but when we contacted the registered owner, we were told that he was sold on after advertising him on a selling website,” said Stroud District Council Animal Welfare Officer Alex Myrie. “To date we have been unable to contact his new owner – we would urge people who want to buy a pet or who can no longer home a pet, not to use selling sites.

“If you cannot care for an animal there are many charities and animal shelters which will find good homes with new owners. We are appealing for anyone who knows anything about Valentine – they may know him as Duke – to contact us.”

A foster home has been found but ultimately Stroud District Council is responsible for Valentine as long as he is classified as a stray.

He was abandoned outside Armstrong Mobile Vets in Breadstone, Berkeley on Tuesday, February 11 and the vet surgery alerted the RSPCA, which paid for the initial X-rays and care.

“Valentine came into our care at a time when he was most vulnerable and in need of help,” said Amanda Browne from the practice. “Our vet Amber Byrne-Price took immediate steps to ease his pain and warm him up. Vet Grace Harker oversaw his diagnosis and all of our nursing team provided comfort and cared for his every need whilst he was with us. He really is such a lovely dog - even though he must have been in considerable pain, he didn’t complain at all. We all wish him a speedy recovery and hope he finds a loving forever home.”

Vale Vets in Stinchcombe will operate on Valentine to repair his left leg.

“Valentine has sustained fractures to the distal radius and ulna of the left front leg - both of the bones in the forearm are fractured close to the wrist,” said Vale Vets Clinical Director Mark Norcott. “The plan is to insert a metal plate with screws to repair each bone.”

Investigations are continuing and so anyone who knows anything about Valentine, how he broke his leg or who dumped him should call SDC Animal Welfare Service on 01453 754478 or email environmental.health@stroud.gov.uk

“Valentine’s case is very sad indeed and a reminder of why trading pets on selling sites is not advisable,” said SDC Environment Committee Chair, Simon Pickering. “Thanks to great joint working between SDC, the RSPCA, Armstrong Mobile Vets and Vale Vets, Valentine should make a full recovery but we want to find out more about him.”

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