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A Wanganui teenager, who can't afford a $2500 vet bill, says he will go to jail rather than give up his injured dog.
Bronson Stewart, 18, has kidnapped Buck, a five-month-old pup, who was hit by a speeding car two weeks ago from the vet clinic where he was taken with a seriously broken back leg.
The Wanganui Chronicle reported that Bronson Stewart said the vet had told him and his father Kevin that Buck's leg could be saved by having it pinned back together at a cost of $2500, or the leg could be amputated for $800.
But the two beneficiaries are not able to come up with that sort of money.
The best they could do was offer the vet $5 a week, which was declined. The vet also refused to return the pup because the little dog was in pain, Bronson said.
He said that when the vet realised the Stewarts could not pay he told them Buck would be put down yesterday.
But Bronson was not giving up so easily.
"I just knew I had to get my dog back. He's like my brother. I need to have him. They can't just kill him because I haven't got any money," Bronson said.
While his father sat vigil every morning out on the roadside with placards asking for the public's help, Bronson went to the veterinary clinic last Friday and asked if he could see Buck for a little while.
"They were really nice and let me go out to the cages to see him. So I opened his cage, pulled Buck out, and ran as fast as I could out of the vets and down the road. I think one of them chased me for a while, and I carried Buck home."
Yesterday an SPCA inspector arrived on the doorstep, he said.
A written SPCA report headed To Prevent or Mitigate Suffering says: "Black and white dog has dislocated and fractured right hind leg as per vet report. Dog must have immediate veterinary treatment or must be euthanased. If you don't comply you may face prosecution."
But Bronson won't give up the fight.
"I'll just be prosecuted, then. I'll go to jail if I have to. I don't want Buck killed. He's a really nice dog and I love him like a brother."
Kevin Stewart invited all animal-loving citizens of Wanganui to help him with my son's plight.
"This puppy is not in any pain to need any drugs at present while we try to raise the $800 for his amputation or the $2500 to pin his leg back together as suggested by the capitalist [vet] and the SPCA."