Finley, the rescued dog that was found chained and abandoned under a bridge in Athlone, died at the weekend after contracting canine distemper. Picture: Supplied
Finley, the rescued dog that was found chained and abandoned under a bridge in Athlone, died at the weekend after contracting canine distemper. Picture: Supplied

Couple who adopted rescued Finley sad to see dog die from distemper

By Francesca Villette Time of article published Jan 27, 2020

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Cape Town – In a sad turn of events, Finley, the dog that was recently adopted into a loving home after being found chained and abandoned under a bridge, has died.

The pup died at the weekend after contracting canine distemper.

Finley survived being chained and abandoned with a rope tied tightly around his neck under a bridge in Athlone after Cape of Good Hope (COGH) SPCA field officer Sonwabo Sithole and collection officer Adeeb Salie came to his rescue.

Members of the public raised the alarm.

The rope around his neck had cut into the dog's flesh, causing a wound that became badly infected.

At the SPCA’s veterinary hospital, Dr Janelle Maistry tended to his injuries and there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel for Finley when Teresa Hills recently adopted him.

But shortly after starting to settle into his new home he was not eating well, became lethargic and developed a fever.

COGH SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said Finley had contracted canine distemper - a virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eyes.

Hills said yesterday she was devastated.

She and her husband are from Ireland, and moved to South Africa over four years ago with their dog.

The dog died of old age in May.

“Finley had been through so much in his short life. Because of all he went through, his little body couldn’t handle it anymore.

“We got a call from the SPCA saying he died in the middle of Friday night he died in his sleep.

“We are still in shock he was so special and he really touched our lives. It’s a blessing that we got to spend time with him,” Hills said.

She thanked the SPCA for all they did.

Abraham sent her condolences to the Hills.

“We were so positive of a recovery and we were all heartbroken when he passed on suddenly late on Friday.

"Sadly, Finley had been through so much that he didn’t have the strength to overcome this too.

“Our heartfelt condolences go to the Hills family and our grateful thanks that Finley died with a name and a place to call home, knowing he was loved,” Abraham said.

Anyone with information that could lead to the prosecution of Finley’s previous owners can be sent, anonymously, to the email address: [email protected]

Or call 021 700 4158/9 during office hours, or 083 326 1604 after-hours.

Cape Times

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