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Champion pet needs a helping hand

PUBLISHED: 13:43 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 07 July 2010

HE is a champion dog who has twice wowed the judges at Crufts - but now three-year-old Womble is in need of a vital operation.

A tumble downstairs at his Litcham home has left the English Mastiff unable to walk or hold his own body weight.

HE is a champion dog who has twice wowed the judges at Crufts - but now three-year-old Womble is in need of a vital operation.

A tumble downstairs at his Litcham home has left the English Mastiff unable to walk or hold his own body weight.

This led to vets discovering a cyst between his third and fourth vertebrae - and without a six-and-a-half-hour operation costing £6,000 the condition could paralyse Womble and he would have to be put down.

His owners have helped many dogs through their own Litcham-based rescue centre Mastiffs in Need but now they are asking people to help them help their favourite pet.

Womble is due to have the operation on November 17. Insurance covers most of the operation costs but his family still needs to pay £2,000 to help Womble, and so they are planning to do a sponsored walk on Saturday.

Emma Herring, 24, who owns Womble with her mum Kim Dodd-Utting, 47, and her brother Jamie Dodd, 25, said: “Womble is one in a million. Besides what he has done in the show ring, he is just amazing. He really is a great big softy. He has just got so many friends.

“Every year he goes to my little brother Dudley's school dressed as Santa and gives out Christmas sweets to the children.

“Until he stumbled down the stairs he was fine. Nobody can believe what has happened.”

Mrs Dodd-Utting described Womble as her best friend and said she had been humbled by how much people want to help him - already £800 of the £2,000 needed has been pledged.

She said she also wanted to make more pet owners aware that pet insurance does not always cover every cost of an animal's medical care.

Womble won best of breed at Crufts this year and was crowned the best puppy for his breed at Crufts in 2006.

He has also won a whole host of other accolades which led to him being classed as an English Champion by the Kennel Club.

The 2.5-mile walk on the yellow trail at Thetford Forest starts at 1pm on Saturday. Walkers are meeting at Great Hockham picnic site, off the A1075 Watton Road at 12.45pm.

To get involved in the walk or donate money to help Womble call Miss Herring on 01328 701207 or Kelly Boldero on 01953 880494.

For more information visit www.sponsorformsonline.co.uk/walkforwomble.asp or www.facebook.

com/group.php?gid=46264460020

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