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Boo went missing for two days and was found badly hurt three miles away
An owner spent two days fearing her dog was dead when she bolted after being scared by fireworks.
Cara Greenan’s friends and neighbours rallied round for a massive hunt and four-year-old Boo was eventually found three miles away.
But the loveable Pomeranian had been hit by a car and needed lengthy treatment at Vets Now in Colchester to save her. Even so, Boo has been left with a lasting legacy, including sight problems.
Our senior vets want to restrict the sale and use of bigger, noisier fireworks such as rockets, roman candles and aerial wheels so only responsible licence holders can buy and set them off.
Cara, from Colchester, had already had Guy Fawkes panic before the Friday night drama with Boo.
“She’d run off after getting spooked the previous year, but we put it out on Facebook and a lady saw it and got hold of her,” said mum-of-three Cara.
“So, I was being really careful. I’ve got a couple of miniature ponies and they were going crazy and running around their little field because of fireworks.
“When I opened the door to check on them Boo shot out and away. She’d heard the banging and just ran for the hills.
“We spent the whole weekend trying to find her. We put it on Facebook again and there were over 1000 shares and so many kind people got involved in helping. That bit of it was quite heartwarming.
“We live near a golf course and we must have covered every yard and anywhere else around.”
A searcher whose dog is known for tracking found a trace at a railway line over three miles away but there was no sign of Boo.
Cara admits she feared the worst as the days passed.
“I thought she was gone,” said Cara. “I had to tell my girls that she hadn’t made it and we were all hysterical.”
It was Sunday teatime when Cara got a call to tell her Boo was alive. A man in Norwich said he’d found Boo on the train tracks a few miles from Cara’s house and taken her home with him. It was clear she’d been hit by a car.
Cara drove the 60-plus miles to Norwich to pick her up and was shocked by her appearance.
“She was in such a bad state we barely recognised her as our dog,” said Cara.
“She could barely walk because her back legs were splaying, and one eye was nearly out of its socket because of a swelling in her head. Her face was twice the size and she was screaming in pain. It was just unbearable, really horrific.”
Cara rushed Boo straight to Vets Now in Colchester. It’s one of a nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.
She spent four days being cared for and brought back from the brink by the dedicated team.
Emergency vet Dave Leicester, head of telemedicine at Vets Now, said: “Boo’s case is not unique. Every year our vets treat scores of dogs, cats and other pets who have been badly affected by fireworks.
“We’re expecting this year to be no different and both our Vets Now pet emergency clinics and our online video vets are gearing up for lots of cases and advice calls.
“To reduce the distress caused to pets by fireworks, we urgently need supermarkets and other retailers to take action and stop selling them for private use.”
In an open letter, Dave has issued a plea to supermarkets and convenience stores to take immediate action to prevent animals being traumatised and injured on and around bonfire night. Members of the public can back these calls by signing this petition.
Cara agrees something needs to be done.
“All of this was caused by fireworks,” said Cara. “It was such an awful thing to happen to her and obviously hit us financially paying for her veterinary care.
“I know bonfire night is an exciting time for some people, but I think fireworks should only be allowed at that time, maybe a three-day window around November 5. After that, it’s illegal and you get fined.
“And I think there should be a ban on having them at weddings and birthdays and other celebrations, so you don’t get surprised by them going off.
“Pet owners need to know when to prepare.”
Vets Now recently launched an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.
While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies like Boo’s, their experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns pet owners might have, including how to deal with pets stressed by fireworks.
If a pet needs to be treated at Vets Now, pet owners are refunded the online consultation fee.