A Canadian man whose three unlucky dogs encountered an unpleasant porcupine has raised thousands of pounds through a crowdfunding campaign to pay for substantial vet bills.
Youth worker Dennis Mazur was out walking his dogs in Saskatchewan, Canada, when they met the spiny rodent. A short tussle left the dogs – Mahalo, Nestah, and Soljah – with nasty injuries from being stabbed by the animal’s quills.
Mahalo suffered the worst of the attack, and required extensive surgery in Saskatoon to remove the quills, which had pierced her heart and lungs. Nestah’s muzzle ended up being covered in quills.
Soljah was the luckiest, escaping with just a few quills in the neck.
Mr Mazur told CBC news: “Quills are a tricky thing. They go in and they’re just sort of barbed and they migrate and travel and that’s the fear right now. Mahalo had quills that migrated up into her lungs and into her heart. And the fact that she’s alive right now is a full miracle.”
The crowdfunding campaign to help Mr Mazur pay the vet bills was started by his friend, Mike Gerrand, on GoFundMe. The campaign has so far raised more than C$15,000 (over £7,400), well over the C$5,000 goal.
“When I started this campaign I had hung up the phone with Dennis who was beyond lost in Saskatoon. He was in tears over the thought of losing his dog. I really wanted to help so I started this campaign,” wrote Mr Gerrard on the page.
“We never expected the support we have received. Literally from all over the world – animal lovers, friends, family and complete compassionate strangers… Again on behalf of Mahalo, Nestah, Soljah, Kari, Dennis and myself, I sincerely and humbly thank you for your overwhelming kindness.”
Mr Mazur said: “It’s been a blessing. I’m feeling truly blessed/ I was not expecting this to pan out the way it did.”
Porcupine quills typically lie flat on the animal until threatened. While it is a myth that porcupines can ‘shoot’ their quills at attackers, the quills do come away easily when touched and are difficult to remove once they are stuck in flesh.
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