Vet Adopts Stray Dog She Rescued While On Holiday | Village Vets

Good news is like gold dust these days, but this story of our own Vet, Nicola Sunderland, is sure to make your day that little bit brighter.

While on holidays in Greece (and far from being on-the-clock at a Village Vets Clinic), Nicola came across a malnourished stray dog on the beach. With little in the way of options available at the time, Nicola took it upon herself to visit him with food for the first few days of her vacation, but it soon became apparent that he’d need more than food — what with the sores and lesions spread across his body. Nicola’s Vet-Mode automatically kicked-in and she began formulating a plan for him.




After some research and some appeals for information, Nicola was contacted by a Lady from the UK and a Lady from Germany who operated a Voluntary Rescue in Greece. Together, they transported the stray to a Greek Vet and had his bloods done which, after coming back from Athens, diagnosed him with Leishmania — a parasitic disease that was the clear cause of the sores and lesions across his body. Armed with this information, Nicola abandoned the idea of having a relaxing holiday and, instead, had only one goal in mind: get him home to Ireland where he could be cared for and loved.

In order to do this, Nicola needed three things to happen. Firstly, the stray (tentatively named George from here on) would need to begin his treatment for Leishmania. Secondly, George would have to reach a healthy weight; healthy and heavy enough to fly, at least. Finally, and the condition that the other two depended on, George would need to stay in Greece while Nicola went home and prepared for his arrival. Luckily, Nicola had been put in contact with a Greek Lady who was more than happy to foster George for the six weeks it would take for his health to improve. With the plan going ahead, and with contact numbers exchanged, Nicola returned home to begin her preparations.




As with all things fluffy and furry, George’s foster Mom fell in love with him in the lead up to his flight to Ireland. Not wanting to split them prematurely, Nicola paid for George’s Mom to accompany him and had her stay for the weekend while George grew accustomed to his permanent home. With the majority of the hard work over, Nicola was able to adopt George in Ireland and offer him a new, happier life — never to worry about being neglected or unloved again.

“He will be on lifelong treatment,” Nicola wrote to us shortly after he arrived, “but he has already gained 7kg since the day I found him.” Suffice it to say, but that’s a massive win in our books. “He’s asleep on the floor; I won’t be far behind him,” Nicola recently wrote, signing off on the whole experience — a fitting end to her and George’s journey.


Village Vets would like to extend heartfelt thanks, firstly, to Nicola for always putting an animal’s welfare above her own (even on a well-deserved break, no-less). Secondly, we would like to thank Christina, Brigitte and the clinics in Crete and Athens for lending a helping hand to one of our own. Lastly, we would like to thank Eva for the herculean effort she put up while Nicola was waiting for George. If there’s one lesson to take away from this story, it’s that a Vet’s work is never done; least not a Village Vet’s…

Written by Aidan Carney

George resting in his new forever home


Did someone say food??



Nicola and George