Store staff's grand gesture for Womble

A Crufts champion in need of a vital operation has touched the hearts of people across the county.About 25 people have been taking part in a sponsored walk to help Womble the dog, and when staff at Dereham pet store Jollyes heard of his plight they donated all the funds for their Christmas party to the three-year-old English Mastiff.

A Crufts champion in need of a vital operation has touched the hearts of people across the county.

About 25 people have been taking part in a sponsored walk to help Womble the dog, and when staff at Dereham pet store Jollyes heard of his plight they donated all the funds for their Christmas party to the three-year-old English Mastiff.

Emma Herring, one of Womble's owners, said she had been overwhelmed with the support people have been giving her pet.

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


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But earlier this month a tumble down some stairs at his Litcham home left Womble unable to walk or hold his own body weight.

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

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While Womble's pet insurance covers £4,000 of the operation his family needed to raise the rest of the money.

They organised a sponsored walk at Thetford Forest on November 8 which involved about 25 people and raised about £1,700.

Staff at Jollyes decided to donate the money they were going to use for their Christmas party to Womble instead, and presented his family with a cheque for £1,000, along with £35 that was collected in the store.

Mrs Herring said: “We have been overwhelmed by the help and support shown to us. We have raised the extra funds needed for his operation and had scheduled this for November 17.

“However, when Womble saw his specialist again he was amazed at how losing weight and confining him had helped improve his mobility. He has decided to postpone the operation because of this and because of the risks involved with the operation. He wants us to have some extra time with our special lad before he is put through the operation. As soon as his mobility starts deteriorating Womble's surgery will be rescheduled.

“Many, many people have given so generously and we would like to send them all our heartfelt thanks. In particular, we want to thank the staff at Jollyes Pets Superstore in Dereham. We have been so moved by their kindness and generosity and cannot bear the thought that they cannot celebrate this Christmas so we have organised a party for them to say thank you at a local village hall on December 13.

“One final thank you must go to Kelly Boldero who organised the sponsored walk we had on November 8 which was a huge success and a fantastic time was had by all. Without the support of some very good friends and total strangers we do not know how we would have coped with this tragedy.”

Malcolm Taylor, manager of Jollyes in Dereham, said: “We have known Womble since he was a puppy and his need is greater than ours. We just wish him well with his operation.”

Womble's family have now raised enough for his operation but they intend to set up a fund to help other people that find themselves in similar circumstances.

To donate money to the fund call Mrs Herring on 01328 701207.

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