Animal rescue

Animal Rescue UK: Briton flies disabled street dog 5,600km from Egypt to loving home in Essex

A British animal lover has saved a disabled and blind Egyptian street dog with broken legs after falling in love at first sight when she saw a video of the pooch.

Emma Mclean, 37, a canine behaviorist who lives in Saint Osyth, Essex, broke down in tears the moment she saw Warda limping at a shelter in Cairo, where dog Baladi had lived since he was had been cruelly beaten with “a wooden board with a nail in it”.

Urgently raising £760 in just 48 hours, Emma managed to fly Warda 5,600km to the UK four months later in February 2022 to live with her, her husband of nine years, Stewart, 42 , who is a freight train driver, and their children Ella-Grace, five, and James, two.

Describing the horrific ordeal Warda endured before being picked up off the street by Chance Animal Rescue in Cairo, Emma said: ‘She was basically cornered by a gentleman, for lack of a better word, with a plank of wood. with a nail in it.

“He beat her to the point where both of her front legs were broken and one of her eyes was pushed back into her skull.

“She was left to die on the street, but someone called the shelter and they rescued her.”

That was in 2016, but sadly the shelter couldn’t afford to pay for medical treatment to fix Warda’s broken legs.

“They’ve been doing remedial work because they can’t do fancy surgeries, like fixing his limbs,” Emma said.

“Her left front leg has repaired but is deformed and her right front leg has been broken beyond repair so she has a completely broken bone in her body.

“When she got home I was amazed at how well she was considering how broken her body was.”

Unfortunately, Warda was also pregnant when she was attacked and her puppies did not survive.

Spending six years at the crowded animal shelter, alongside 450 other dogs, with no hope of finding another forever home, Warda has won the hearts of those who care for her.

“She was very well liked by the staff as she is a very sweet dog despite what happened to her,” Emma said.

Meanwhile, Emma worked with her canine behavior business and while based in the UK remotely helped people in the Middle East settle in with the wild and indigenous Baladi strays they had. adopted.

After five years in the business, in October 2021, she has a revelation.

She said: “I literally woke up one day and decided I needed mine.”

Emma asked a friend who worked at the Cairo shelter if she knew of any dogs who were unlikely to be rehomed due to age or disability.

Later that day her friend sent a 10 second photo and video of Warda, and Emma knew Warda was the dog for her.

She said: “In the first 10 seconds of the video, Warda limping, it was love at first sight.

“I just saw his little face and immediately started crying. And I said, ‘I have to help you out and get you out of this’ and that’s when I was determined to get there.

Determined to raise enough money to save Warda, Emma wrote a post on her social media accounts about the dog, sharing it with clients, friends and family, and within 48 hours she had raised £760.

This was enough to prepare Warda for the trip, paying for most of her injections and checkups, as well as her travel crate and plane tickets from Cairo to Paris, and the animal transport service from Paris. in Essex.

She also contacted Miracle’s Mission, a non-profit animal welfare organization, for help because she knew she could cover any unforeseen costs, such as travel and vet costs during the trip. adopting a dog.

As she needed a little extra money for transport, she asked them for £300 to get Warda to Essex safely.

And Emma started learning Egyptian Arabic so she could make an adoption announcement video to show the shelter and the people who gave money.

She said, “It was quite difficult actually, the pronunciation was really difficult, especially rolling the r’s. It was difficult, but my Egyptian friends helped me by sending me voice notes.

When Warda arrived at Emma’s on February 26, 2022, she was very calm, submissive, and exhausted from the 10 p.m. journey.

“It was also a huge culture shock for her – she went from a hot country to a cold country, there were a lot of adjustments,” Emma recalls.

“We had to have her medically assessed as we knew there were significant issues with her legs and her vision.

“We’ve had a few house visits with a vet but there’s not much they can do at home so she was taken to the vet and sedated.

“After that she was showing signs of fear around people and sounds. So there was a lot of unraveling.

Wanda was also psychologically scarred because of everything she had been through in her life.

“At first she was so nervous that her natural reactions were suppressed because she didn’t have the confidence to show her emotions.

“So in a way it was a good thing for her to start getting openly fearful. It was kind of a transition period.

To help, when Warda was acting fearful, Emma would alter her perception of the stimulus by associating it with something she liked – for example, when Stewart was in the room, she would give Warda treats to associate the voice of a man to something positive, rather than the abuses in Egypt.

At this point, Emma has moved Warda away from her young children, but they can now be comfortably in a room together when Emma is around.

But Warda is still nervous around Stewart because the abuse she suffered came from a grown man.

Emma said: “Warda definitely had issues with him. When things got worse, she would growl at him, but now it’s as subtle as she looked scared and turned her head away. We worked very, very hard on this.

“He can pet her, but we remain cautious about their interactions, this trauma does not go away.

“He has to be aware of his own behavior, like trying not to bang too much when he’s doing crafts and speaking softly.

“But, it’s the most rewarding feeling and a natural high when I see Warda enjoying life now.”

Emma added: “She’s not dangerous to men, we don’t put her in situations where she can be, we take her for walks on our private path or secure dog land.

“She’s living her best life now.”

Now Emma has just started working with Miracle Mission as a Repatriation and Behavior Manager, and wants to help others get the right dog for them.

Saying she would recommend him to anyone who can provide the right amount of care, she added: “Warda is not a typical case – my background and experience working with complex dogs has allowed me to ‘adopt.

“But there’s a dog anyone can adopt – if you’re patient, and you’re diligent, and you find the right match, he’s there.”