When the dog was found, he didn't even have the energy to run away but with each passing day, he grew happier and more confident.
A dream holiday to Barbados turned into so much more than expected for Georgia Harding and her boyfriend Sam Blackburn, that they went on their trip as two but returned home as three.
While on their holiday, the British couple was driving around the countryside when they took one wrong turn that led them to find a stray dog in the bushes. Soon, Georgia and Sam would find that underneath his starved and weak body was a happy dog that deserved a loving home.
"He was in the bushes, starving, being eaten alive by ticks and fleas and had a broken leg," said Georgia on their GoFundMe page. "We were told if we wouldn’t have found him he would have only had a few more days to live. The wrong turn for us, turned out to be the right turn for him, we managed to get him to the vets in time to save him, he was malnourished, in terrible physical shape and he had so visibly ‘given up’ it was heartbreaking."
When 22-year-old Georgia found the dog, who is now called Simba, she saw that he didn't even have the energy to run away from them even though he seemed terrified. His body was nothing more than "skin and bone." However, with each passing day, Simba started transforming into a completely different dog.
"Everyday his confidence grew, his health improved and we could see he was in for a fighting chance," Georgia said. After being rescued, Simba was treated for the ticks but there were still problems with his broken leg.
During their trip, Georgia and Sam had also found a female dog and they had spread the message on social media, saying there were two dogs ready for a home. They managed to find a family for the female dog but couldn't do the same for Simba. There was only one thing left for them to do and that was to bring Simba home with them.
love this story 🥰Couple who found a stray dog who was 'just skin and bone' during dream trip to Barbados spend £3,500 bringing him home - and have even received thousands from well-wishers as they try to r...— Debbie (@debskillingback) October 14, 2020
via https://t.co/bf0e2y9Ede https://t.co/hJ7kNqYDVy
"I was distraught and couldn’t leave him," Georgia told Liverpool Echo. "We got him chipped, treated and managed to get it sorted so that he could come home with us."
They spent more than $4,600 on (£3,600) from their pocket to treat Simba and get him safely back home with them so that he could get the love and care he needed to fully recover. But Simba is now struggling to walk or put any weight on his broken leg. The surgery and treatment that his leg needs would cost over $10,500 (£8,200) and the couple decided to set up the GoFundMe page, hoping to raise enough money to cover the cost of Simba's treatment.
"We’re up the wall because it has cost so much money to even get him home," Georgia added. "He is absolutely gorgeous. He is home safe and sounds and settling in very well, he just is dead loving and wants love. We only have one shot of getting it right with his leg though and we would be gutted if we didn’t try hard enough." Georgia and Sam can see that Simba just wants to play around like any other dog and they hope that he can so do that.
The page helped raise more than $12,600 (£9,810) and an update on GoFundMe said, "We feel so so lucky that Simba's story got the publicity and exposure it needed it to turn his little life around and stop the pain he has been in for God knows how long. He is so so so very loved and will be spoilt and cherished for the rest of his life, we promise... We have been so lucky to be put in this position and we can 100% assure you that any penny over the amount needed for Simba's leg will be going to dogs in need to help save their precious little lives too..."