Three-legged dog who spent years in Turkish rescue shelter adopted by amputee

A three-legged dog who was starved and abused in Turkey is being brought to the UK by an ex-army amputee.

John Hopkinson, 43, heard about Popsey’s plight after a chance encounter with a volunteer from The Pointer Rescue Service in Salisbury Hospital.

Rescue worker Liz Gee said the English Pointer was abandoned by her owner who left her with ‘horrendous injuries’ including a ‘rotten foot’ that had to be amputated.

She was taken in by a Turkish rescue shelter in 2016 but was never re-homed as most people who visited ‘wanted the perfect dog’.

But John, ‘whose life changed forever’ when he fell through a fire escape and lost his leg in 2016, knew instantly that he wanted to adopt Popsey without even meeting her.

He told ‘It was an unexpected encounter but when I heard she had three legs I just knew I had to take her.

‘I feel like she needs protecting after what’s happened. Even though I have only got one leg I will battle for her. I will look after her and protect her and she will be able to save me.

‘I am really low. She will pick me up and force me to get up to feed her and take her on a walk.  Then when she is down I will massage her stump.’

John, from Portsmouth, worked in the army for 18 years before returning home to work as a labourer.

He had his accident just three days into his new job and said he ‘hasn’t had much to smile about’ since having his leg amputated.

But the thought of taking in Popsey has given him a smile ‘bigger than the scar on my stump’

He said: ‘The little f**** who neglected her has given me a reason to get up every day.

‘This little pooch will be my life and soul and I can’t wait to meet her and for her to give me my life back. Independence will be our middle name.’

The Turkish shelter contacted the Portsmouth-based Pointer Rescue Service about Popsey on the very same day Liz met John.

Liz, from Stafford, had fallen ill unexpectedly while visiting other volunteers and has set up a Gofundme page to bring Popsey to the UK.

Medical and transportation bills will cost  around £1000 but already people have donated £920 to the cause.

Carol Goodliffe, Secretary of the charity, said anything raised over that amount will go towards buying food and equipment for Popsey and other dogs.

She told ‘Fate played its hand the day we met John. Most people want the perfect dog. But having something that’s going to give you unconditional love and get you out and about is good for you mentally and physically.

‘There’s no better therapy than a dog.’

You can donate to John’s Gofundme page here

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