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WVS Best of 2018

Fri 28th Dec 2018

We can’t believe we’ve come to the end of 2018 already! This year we’ve seen some incredible animal rescues and delivered remarkable veterinary aid to patients that have no one else. We'd like to say thank you to our amazing veterinary teams and all our supporters who have helped make this possible. Here’s just a few of our best rescues from 2018 – you won’t believe some of them are the same animal!


Early in January, a little dog called Guitar was brought to our Thai clinic with a severely infected eye – it had become so bad that it began bulging out of the socket! Thankfully, our vets were able to safely operate and remove the eye, relieving Guitar from his pain and he was soon back on his feet, roaming around the centre!

Cat Island

A couple of months later, March saw our Thai vets swap the usual canine patients for Cat Island, a small island off the coast that is overrun with stray cats. The team have visited here before but return trips are vital to ensure the population is controlled and as many animals are sterilised as possible. In just four days they operated on over 300 cats!!


This little puppy was found in a dark corner of a car garage, thin, emaciated and barely alive. Our vets soon discovered Debbie was suffering a number of ailments: severe dehydration, blood parasites, anaemia as well as poor liver and kidney function. Any one of these issues could have been enough to end her life but thanks to our dedicated vets, they were able to stabilise her. It took weeks of treatment and rehabilitation but against the odds, Debbie pulled through!! 


You wouldn’t believe these photos are of the same dog! When Apple first came to WVS in April, she was missing the entire left side of her face. Although we don’t know for certain what caused these injuries the huge wound must have been excruciatingly painful and maggots were eating away at the flesh until our vets stepped in. Regular antibiotics and surgical debridement were underway in an attempt to save Apple’s life and remarkably, her wound began to heal! Soon, all that remained of her terrible ordeal was a scar!

Pregnant Pony 

Our working equine team from ITC Ooty received an emergency call in May this year. A pregnant pony had got itself stuck in mud and could not get out. This stressful situation was far from ideal and our vets knew they’d have to act quickly. She was growing tired but after administering IV fluids, our team got stuck in and tied ropes around the animal to ensure her safe removal from the situation. Both mother and foal are now doing great, alongside their owner and the local community!!


In May, we met stray dog Ricado, whose skin was so badly infected it looked like it had crusted over entirely, with barely any fur remaining. This condition was caused by parasites that had been left untreated; with no one to care for him on the streets, he was left for dead until our vets came to the rescue. It took weeks of intensive treatment and a few more lab tests to make sure Ricado could get back to full health but our vets were determined to see Ricado parasite-free with a full coat of fur once more!  


In June, our small clinic in Blantyre, Malawi had a call about Mosho, who had been attacked by another dog. However, with no external wounds, her owner thought she had escaped the ordeal uninjured. After not eating much and seeming a little out of sorts, Mosho was brought to the clinic and what our vets found was something very strange! Our vet described Mosho’s body as “feeling like bubble wrap” and this was caused by air escaping from the lungs and getting trapped under her skin. Our vets were able to operate, repair the tear in her trachea and relieve the pressure caused by the trapped air. A week later and she had recovered well and was ready to go home!!

Grace and Celia 

Grace and Celia’s story is one of the most remarkable cases we have encountered, not just this year but the entire time our centre in Thailand has been operating. In August we received a call about two dogs left neglected in a filthy cramped cage. They barely had any food or water, their fur was so matted they could hardly see and the owner did not seem to care. WVS responded quickly to rescue the animals and despite the pair being very scared, once they were cleaned up and in a safe place at our shelter, they were doing much better! After treatment and a fresh haircut, they looked like completely different dogs!! Both have now found loving homes in the community! 


This case began as a normal day for our vets at the Hicks ITC with Phoenix being brought in for a routine spay. However, our vets soon discovered something much more worrying. Phoenix was suffering from a hernia that needed operating on urgently to repair it. A tear in her diaphragm added more complications but we didn’t give up just yet. This little puppy kept fighting and survived the long operation – our team even managed to complete the sterilisation as originally planned before allowing Phoenix to recover at our centre before returning home. 

Tanzania Donkeys

Building on the success of our working equine programme in India, this November we expanded into Africa to begin a pilot project with the donkeys of Bukombe, Tanzania! These donkeys pull heavy poorly-fitting carts, that have rough wooden bars constantly rubbing on the back of their necks. This causes devastating wounds that are unable to heal due to their working hours. This case did not require any complicated treatment or vast veterinary knowledge – instead our vets worked with the local donkey owners to produce doughnut shaped bandages made from cloth and pipe. This simple yet effective device allows existing wounds to heal whilst cushioning the wooden bar. The owners were incredibly enthusiastic to start making and using the doughnuts to keep their animals healthy and we’ve already seen vast improvements! 

What a year it’s been!! As we celebrated our 15th anniversary this year, it has been even more special to showcase our new projects and amazing successes with all of you who have made it possible. If you’d like to help us do even more in 2019, please consider becoming a member of WVS to keep up to date with our work and receive all the awesome benefits of our membership, safe in the knowledge that you are helping save animals like these who have no one else to care for them.