Blade running Thai dog gets new lease of life

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Cola's front legs were sliced off with a sword by his owner's furious neighbour about a year ago. PHOTO: REUTERS

PHUKET (REUTERS) - Cola the dog was the victim of a violent attack.

A neighbour in Thailand hacked off its legs with a sword after it chewed a pair of shoes.

But its luck changed when it was rescued by the Soi Dog Foundation, an animal rescue charity.

They contacted prosthetic specialist Bengt Soderberg, who made Cola the world's first canine blade-runner.

The Foundation campaigns to end animal cruelty - and it doesn't get much worse than what happened to Cola.

"We get many dogs, cruelty cases, with one or two so badly damaged they take a long time before they learn to trust humans again," said Soi Dog Foundation founder John Dalley.

"But here you have a dog, had his front legs hacked off by a human being - no reason why, really, the dog doesn't understand why - and it's literally been, few weeks and it has healed and has been giving its trust again to human beings and showing devotion and love to human beings."

Soderberg said Cola is an inspiration.

"I actually think that Cola is part of that changing attitude as well," said Soderberg, the owner of Scandinavian Orthopaedic Laboratory.

"Because you can see that a dog get a pair of prosthesis and can play around just like any other dog. So it's an attitude change. And when people see that, they say, well, 'if a dog can do that, why cannot I do that?'"

The Soi Dog Foundation campaigns to end the trade in dog meat across Asia.

Since 2003 the foundation has rescued more than 15,000 dogs destined for the dinner table and made at least one dog very happy again.

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