Some of the dogs that Victoria has saved (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
When lockdown struck, Victoria Bryceson was in the process of pulling together funds to build an animal centre for disabled dogs and cats. The founder of the animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission, had planned a series of vegan festivals in the UK, with the aim to use the profits to launch her latest project. Unfortunately, as the pandemic has put a halt to all events, the charity is quickly running out of money – and all plans for the centre have been put on hold. This means that canines across the country are currently at risk of dying from disease, abandonment or due to vets being forced to put them down.
‘Ninety per cent of disabled dogs that are seen by vets are euthanised unnecessarily so there must be literally thousands of dogs killed like this in the UK,’ Victoria said. To save their lives, the charity founder is now turning to the public with a campaign to raise £20,000 – the equivalent of the centre’s property deposit.
Miracle’s Mission already has a waiting list of dogs in urgent need of help, such as those with missing limbs or who are paralysed. Once open, the centre will provide care for the vulnerable dogs and cats, offering veterinary assessments, MRIs, surgeries, the fitting of prosthetics and doggy wheels. Each pup will also be given a personalised rehabilitation plan with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, as well as daily massages and TENS machine stimulation. Additionally, they will be able to play with each other in a sensory garden and given educational toys for mental and physical stimulation. Victoria said: ‘At the moment amputation of one leg is common practice with UK vets, as dogs can live very well and still be very active with three legs, especially if it is a back leg, as most of the weight is on the front legs. ‘However, when it comes to a double amputation, leaving the dog with two legs, the general vets that I have seen in the UK have said it’s definitely not possible to do this as the dogs won’t be left with a good quality of life.
‘The specialist hospitals seem more open to it as they have more experience in the area, but even they have problems where most of their dogs in these conditions are euthanised, not because they need to be but because in their words it is the owners of the dogs who can’t cope with the thought of a two legged-dog. ‘So there is a huge need for education in this area, amongst the public, dog owners and vets. ‘The animals coming into our care will initially all be stray dogs with nowhere else to go and no one else to help them. ‘They will either have been born with some sort of condition, such as a bent leg that they can’t walk on or they will have been in an accident – for example hit by a car or they will have been abused.’ Once the dogs (and cats) have recovered, Miracle’s Mission will then find them a forever home – but to be able to do this, people’s attitudes towards disabled animals need to change, explained Victoria.
She said: ‘We will offer a full rehabilitation programme right through from assessment to surgery to rehabilitation, recovery and re-homing. ‘This is again why education is so important, so that people become open to adopting disabled dogs. ‘If we don’t re-home the dogs, the centre will be full on day one and then we won’t be able to help any more, so it is really desperately needed that the dogs be re-homed.’ So far, the campaign has raised £5,355. Once she reaches her goal, Victoria can build the centre in Yorkshire, which she hopes to open in 2020.
Here is the amazing transformation of some of the dogs that Victoria has already saved.
If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, you can do so on the Miracle’s Mission GoFundMe page.
Alternatively, if you want to host a fundraising event of your own, email Victoria for more information.