February 6, 2014 10.51 am This story is over 93 months old

The story of Flo the Lurcher

A special dog: Amy Clarkson from Lincoln RSPCA recalls the amazing story of how Flo the Lurcher brought the Lincoln community together.

Last year saw some pretty horrific cases come through to the RSPCA Lincolnshire Mid and Lincoln branch — you’ll have heard about one in particular, and that story is one I would like to talk about in this column.

For those of you who don’t know, I want to talk about Flo. Flo was a beautiful black lurcher who, through absolutely no fault of her own, suffered horrendously at the hands of humans on November 24, 2013.

Flo had suffered in essence a broken neck, and had been left for dead on a riverbank until a member of the public alerted the branch and a team of volunteers responded. That night, Flo was rushed to the out of hours vets and kept overnight. An update was posted on our Facebook page, and a Just Giving page set up to raise the £1,000 that the vets estimated for her treatment.

Amy and Flo during recovery from her ordeal.

Amy and Flo during recovery from her ordeal.

The donations started flooding in. Flo was later transferred to a spinal specialist in Cambridgeshire, and it was there that Flo was discovered to have such extensive injuries, that she would need a long operation to place pins in her neck — her vet bill was set to increase significantly. The vet was hopeful that the operation would be successful and she would walk again, and that’s a risk we were willing to take.

The moment she offered her paw to me without me having to ask for it will be a moment I will never forget. She was a fighter.

Flo proved that risk taking is sometimes worthwhile, because she pulled through. Within two weeks, residents raised over £10,000 for Flo. She received Just Giving donations, cheques, cards and cash, and people donated direct to the emergency vets to fund her out-of-hours bill for that first night.

Flo, offering Amy her paw.

Flo, offering Amy her paw.

It was incredible. Flo’s story had touched the hearts of so many, and her face had been shown on so many social networking platforms, newspapers and online news reports – once you saw that face, you could never forget it.

Flo had not only survived the horrific injuries she had succumbed to; she had also survived two operations and had come on leaps and bounds during her rehabilitation in her fantastic foster home. She was one with many visitors, and made progress like no-one had imagined her to.

Now, just over two months on, Flo has found her forever home. She has a wonderful new mummy and daddy, and a husband (well, more of a boyfriend at the moment!), Murphy the greyhound.

The branch was deeply affected by Flo, and her legacy will last a lifetime; the team spirit and the public who donated so generously will never, ever be forgotten.

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Amy Clarkson is an animal lover and the Chair to Fundraising Team at the RSPCA Lincolnshire Mid & Lincoln Branch.