WELLINGTON, New Zealand â€” The plight of Wanganui teenager Bronson Stewart and his pup Buck has prompted the SPCA to set up a new national trust fund for badly injured animals needing veterinary care.
The fund will be for animals that have been grievously hurt but could survive with surgery and whose owners cannot afford the cost of treatment.
National SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger told the Chronicle yesterday the decision for surgery would rest with the vet.
“The animal would stay 24 hours at the vet’s to be assessed first,” Ms Kippenberger said.
If an animal could be saved then the money from the trust fund would be used rather than the animal being euthanased, she said. The fund was being set up in the wake of hundreds of donations (some in the hundreds of dollars) pouring in for Buck.
In Wanganui, dozens have called to offer help for Bronson and his pup, including resthome residents taking up collections.
Wanganui SPCA manager Val Waters said local people had been into the office all day giving donations to save Buck. They had so far received $900. They had also fielded “hundreds” of calls from people offering to send in donations.
“The dog will be just fine,” Ms Waters said.
The 5-month-old pup was hit by a speeding car and has a badly broken hind leg.
The money to have Buck’s leg repaired was out of Bronson’s financial reach and he was told his beloved pup would have to be put down if he could not pay.
The teen, who became a sickness beneficiary after he was attacked in a central Wanganui street last year, took matters into his own hands and kidnapped his dog from the vet clinic where it was being cared for.
The Wanganui SPCA became involved and eventually Bronson was persuaded to hand the dog over. Buck was back in the care of a veterinarian.
The entire small North Island town of Coromandel took up a collection and a dog lover from Rio, Nevada, in the United States, asked where he could send money.
An email from Vanessa Corbett, the general manager of Pet-n-Sur, a pet insurance company recommended by the Auckland SPCA, offered to pay for the dog’s operation and gift Bronson and Buck a year’s pet insurance.