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'Without wrong turn this collie could have died' Pair came to injured pet's aid.

Byline: Jackie Bow

BORDER Collie Emily's life hung in the balance when she was left for dead at the side of the road.

Now, a year on, the neglected pet is a picture of health, and it's all thanks to good Samaritans Richard and Linda Sturgess, who stopped and rescued her.

The couple, who live in Maesycymmer, Caerphilly county, have since heaped love and careon Emily, and with their kindness she has made a remarkable recovery.

Emily has had a traumatic time, with two major operations to save a shattered front leg, medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture and continuing water treadmill work, which has meant a massive four-figure bill for the Sturgesses.

Dr Sturgess, a specialist in pharmaceuticals with Cardiff and the Vale NHS Trust and Mrs Sturgess, a volunteer at the Bible Depot in Cardiff and a reading assistant at her local primary school, believe it was providence that they found Emily.

They were heading for Dowlais in Merthyr Tydfil and got lost, ending up on the busy Heads of the Valleys Road, where they spotted her lying on the grass verge with devastating injuries.

"Emily was semi-conscious and in deep shock," said Mrs Sturgess.

"The vet wasn't very hopeful.

"It was touch and go."

A gun pellet was also later found lodged in her right paw - an old injury where the soft tissue had grown around the pellet.

Six-year-old Emily, who can now walk for miles and run, had been micro chipped by an owner registered in the North of England but it appears she had passed between several owners.

"She must have had years of neglect," said Dr Sturgess.

"If we hadn't taken that wrong turning we would never have found her."

Mrs Sturgess said their vet told them Emily had been ill-treated.

"Emily is gradually getting over her problems. She's a beautiful-natured dog, loving and trusting," she added.

"She is really quite amazing and a joy."

Emily is now going to be the mascot of the RSPCA branch and clinic in Merthyr.

Molly Wilson, secretary of the North and East Glamorgan branch of the RSPCA, paid tribute to the couple.

She said: "I really think it is a Good Samaritan story. It was pure luck they came across Emily.

"You can't believe the transformation and shows what can be done when people are patient and willing - and they were willing to sacrifice."

jackie.bow@mediawales.co.uk

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GOOD SAMARITANS: Richard and Linda Sturgess with Emily, the dog they found badly injured by the roadside PICTURE: Andrew Davies
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 26, 2008
Words:421
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