Pizza the Thai street dog finally has a chance of happiness with the Weaverham couple who fell in love with him when they were travelling southeast Asia – but they have issued a heartfelt plea for donations to help cover the costs of restoring the poorly pooch’s sight.
‘Sweet natured’ Pizza is settling into family life after Matt Ridgway and Rachel Adams went to extraordinary lengths to bring him back to the UK, but now they need to come up with between £3,000 and £4,000 for surgery to treat the cataracts he has developed as a result of his diabetes.
Matt and Rachel’s paths crossed with Pizza at Elephant Nature Park in Thailand’s Chiang Mai, where they were decided to volunteer for a week after six months of backpacking.
But their intended seven days turned into one month, as they simply ‘couldn’t leave’.
As well as providing sanctuary for elephants used in inhumane trades, the park has taken in hundreds of canines from the illegal dog trade – dogs just like Pizza and his brothers and sisters, who were rescued from a military camp which intended to poison them.
Pizza has already endured his fair share of health battles, having caught a blood parasite and developed pancreatitis and pneumonia due to his diabetes going undiagnosed for a period.
Matt and Rachel fell for Pizza and, fearing his health needs would mean he was unlikely to be adopted by anyone else, decided they could give him the home he deserved.
“We couldn’t leave him,” explained Matt.
“He is such a sweet natured dog and is so loving and affectionate."
The pair have already spent nearly £2,000 on veterinary bills, but his cataracts diagnosis came as a surprise to them, hence the need to raise some funds to help towards the costs.
Matt added: “Both Rachel and I regularly give to charities and now we’re calling on our friends around the world to help out a little dog who has been through a lot and has now lost his sight.
“If you can manage a few pounds to help us out we will be eternally grateful, whatever we raise will go towards his surgery and we’ll obviously top it up to ensure it happens.”
So far, more than £2,400 has been raised towards the £4,000 goal on their online appeal.
The couple have praised the generosity of strangers from around the world who have really taken Pizza’s plight to heart and donated to help him get better.
“People from all over the world have donated multiple times, it’s incredible how caring and generous people are,” Matt added.
If you would like to donate, click here.