A young boy from Oakham is appealing for donations to help rescue a Tunisian puppy who is in desperate need of being saved, after facing a series of mistreatment and beatings.
Benjamin Wright, 14, is hoping to raise a total of £2,000 to help rescue Grace the dog from Tunisia, bringing her back to live with him and his loving family here in Rutland.
As part of his fundraising mission, Benjamin completed a gruelling swim in the cold shores of Rutland Water on Tuesday night, swimming a total of 1000m in the hope that people will help sponsor him.
Benjamin and his family, first met Grace whilst on holiday in Tunisia this June. Back then ‘Grace’ - the name they gave the Labrador, was only four-months-old and was an orphan puppy following the brutal killing of her siblings and mother.
Grace would spend her time hanging around the hotel’s swimming pool, that the family were staying at. “She would lay under the palm trees looking really sad and lonely,” said Benjamin. “We would spend as much time with her, stroking and feeding her.”
A few days into the holiday the family heard a terrible screeching noise, which they soon realised was Grace. Running towards the noise, they found a gardener trying to beat the dog. “She was in a really bad way, it was really frightening,” said Benjamin.
On the scene was a rescue officer from Rescue Animals of North Africa (RANA), she was holding a dog carrier and was trying desperately to get Grace to safety.
Benjamin and his sister, Lucy, aged 10, soon realised the matter of urgency and helped the woman to get Grace to safety.
After rescuing Grace, the family found out more information about the charity which helps to rescue hundreds of street animals, just like Grace.
Rescue officer, Florence who is based in the UK, but travels back and forth to Tunisia, discussed with the family the option of adopting Grace, to help bring her to safety.
The donations raised will help to pay for the fees to transport Grace over to the UK, including the cost of all the vet bills and her travel ticket.
Once Grace arrives in the UK, she will live with Benjamin’s family in Oakham, where she will be trained to give back to the local community as a ‘pets in therapy’ dog.
Benjamin said: “Please help us to save Grace, she deserves to have a good life.”