This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.
-Written by Anneliese Paul
Jerry’s a cheeky, playful and boisterous rescue dog from Romania who can do a handstand! He landed on his feet when Shena gave him a home and inspired her to start a rescue centre specialising in disabled animals.
When you see a dog with two legs, what do you think? Many people would give up on them. On her first visit to the vet, Shena was advised to put Jerry to sleep. But Shena couldn’t do that.
Shena had four dogs, worked for the NHS in cancer care and was studying for a degree in Social Care. Then a friend sent her a video of a puppy in Romania, and her heart melted.
Jerry was paralysed, an unwanted street dog who had probably been hit by a car and left for dead. Shena couldn’t get the image out of her head, “What’s one more?” she thought and decided to bring him home.
The first time Shena met him, Jerry jumped out of the car, a bundle of energy. It was love at first sight. He was a playful six-month-old puppy. Shena’s four dogs gladly accepted him, and he slotted into the pack straight away.
Having been through so much already, it was perhaps no surprise that after the operation to remove his hind legs, Jerry bounced back again even after a few falls while he perfected his balance.
Jerry can walk on two legs around the house and garden and manages well, but he wears his wheels on walks. They’re made from plumbing pipes, and at first he was a bit wobbly on them, but with a couple of days of practice, he was charging off. Now on his 3rd set of wheels, Jerry loves chasing balls. Nothing can stop him. Shena thinks he’s probably faster than the other dogs!
Jerry kicked off a following on Shena’s social media and people started coming to her for advice. So in 2013, just a few months after getting Jerry, Shena and her husband Ian decided to set up an animal sanctuary that specialises in disabled animals. Because of their disabilities, many of these animals wouldn’t be here without the second chance that the animal sanctuary PUDZ gives them. Jerry has two more two-legged dog friends and a special relationship with Flo, another Romanian rescue.
In total, they look after over 170 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and turkeys. And until last year, Shena and Ian did it all from their North Lincolnshire home. Jerry’s such an inspiration that they have recently raised enough money to buy a one-acre plot of land, so that they can give more disabled animals like Jerry the happy lives they deserve.
“Jerry changed my life completely. We don’t give up on people who are disabled, so why should we give up on animals? Everyone deserves a chance in life.“