AN animal charity in Little Clacton is appealing for help to fund a life-changing operation for a ten-month-old puppy given up by his owners.

Ernie the French bulldog was handed to the National Animal Welfare Trust, based in The Street, because his owners could no longer cope with his disabilities.

He was examined by a vet who decided he needed an operation on both of his back legs.

Stacey Sheppard, an animal care assistant at the centre, said: “He is in quite a lot of pain and it is emotionally distressing for him because he is so young.

“He’s eager to chase toys and zoom around but his legs just can’t do it and he is crippled with pain.

“Ernie is a typical ten-month-old puppy, full of exuberance, mischief and cheekiness. He loves having a cuddle and he loves doing what he can to make you laugh.”

The charity is determined Ernie will live a normal life.

Centre manager Lizzie Reffell said: “Ernie needs surgery on both legs so his kneecaps stop sliding out of position.

“Thankfully, we’ve found him a lovely foster home where he can be kept calm to give his legs the best chance of healing.”

The operations will cost £2,400 and the first is expected to take place next week.

Lizzie added: “We desperately need to raise urgent funds towards these operations.”

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