Against All Odds: Valora’s Triumph Over Tragedy
TEARS and local residents rescued an abandoned female Pitbull from inevitable demise after she was hit by a train. They found her lying along the tracks, where she’d been for about a week, with her front leg severed. They’ve named her Valora because it means brave.
On 14 April, Valora’s traumatic story began when it appears she was abandoned on Muizenberg Main Road. Marilyn Hoole, founder of TEARS says, “There was a dog bed found on the pavement nearby, so it looks like her family left her to fend for herself.” Terrified, she lay down on the pavement, hoping her owner would come back to fetch her.
“Two caring residents and TEARS supporters called me about seeing the dog, who had a dark ring around her neck, as though she had been chained or tied up and was emaciated,” says Marilyn. “We immediately headed out with a net and treats to try and catch her. We were almost successful, but she was so frightened and strong that she got away from us,” she says.
“What followed was a litany of horrors. We followed her at a distance so as not to scare her, but then a well-meaning motorist jumped out of their car to catch her. She ran faster and to our horror was struck by an approaching vehicle, injuring her right shoulder. She fell but got up again, clearly in a lot of pain, and continued running blindly. Then four men jumped out of a taxi and began chasing her; we were horrified but helpless. They chased her off the Main Road, and down through the bush to the edge of Zandvlei, where, in an attempt to get away, the terrified girl jumped into the vlei and swam across a large expanse of water to an island and disappeared amongst the reeds,” she says.
“We searched for her for days, leaving food for her in places she had been seen. By now, many residents knew that we were looking for a white and tan Pitbull. We followed up numerous calls from people who’d spotted her limping around the vlei area.” Despite a few times that they almost caught her, the terrified dog escaped the women every time. The last time Marilyn saw Valora was on 18 April after nearly catching her at Lakeside Train Station but again she got away, running down the tracks towards Steenberg Station.
A week later, Lakeside resident, Helen Jordaan, called Marilyn to say that a homeless gentleman, Wayne Adams, had seen a dog lying in the bush off the railway tracks. “Helen, her young son, Wayne, and I set off along the tracks from Lakeside station,” says Marilyn. “We found the Pittie girl lying in the bush next to the tracks. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t run, and then the horror of the situation hit me – her left front leg had been severed below the elbow joint, and the wound was jagged and smelled rotten. It was an awful sight. Valora lay there, curled up and stared up at us; it was too heart-breaking for words. We wrapped her in a blanket and took her to Steenberg Vet, where Veterinarian, Dr Achim Steinhagen, kindly waited for us as it was afterhours.”
Valora received the most caring and professional attention and treatment from the Steenberg Veterinary team. “We were so relieved, as her injury was severe, and she must have been in the most horrendous pain. We realised that she must have been hit by a train the previous week when she ran off down the tracks,” says Marilyn.
She spent night of observation in the clinic after surviving the leg amputation surgery. She was in a lot of pain, which the vet staff are monitoring and controlled with medication.
“When we visited Valora at Steenberg Vet we were overjoyed with the response we received from this special girl. She stood up in her cage and came forward, tail wagging. Our hearts were bursting with happiness as she licked our hands and nuzzled them, looking up at us with her big, soulful eyes. She has made it through a terrible ordeal and is now ready to begin a new chapter in her life, one where she will find love, caring, and understanding,” says Marilyn.
“We are inspired and encouraged by the incredible outpouring of kind-heartedness toward Valora and what she has endured. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has followed Valora’s journey, and supported her and TEARS Animal Rescue, expressing such compassion and donating so generously to her cause.
Medical bills are fast accumulating. Should you wish to support Volara, you can donate to TEARS,
Standard Bank Blue Route,
Branch code: 051001,
Account Number – 07206-288-6.