A DOG-rescuer suffering from cancer is shaving her hair in solidarity with a neglected hairless puppy found dumped in a washing powder box.
Mum-of-three Trisha Shaw is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and recently discovered the disease could have spread to her bloodstream.
The 47 year-old from Warwick immediately started chemotherapy and was informed her hair would fall out. She was also told to stay away from animals due to the risk of infection.
This was particularly hard for Trisha who volunteers at Pawprints Dog Rescue in Rugby, saving animals on death row. She also works finding the owners of lost dogs, and has reunited more than 100 happy families.
Around the same time she started treatment a puppy was found dumped on a doorstep in a washing powder box. The eight week-old pup, named Julius by staff, was covered in sores and had lost most of his hair.
He was one of ten abandoned dogs taken to the kennels that week.
Trisha said: “The chemotherapy has left me with no immunity to infection. Consequently I’m not able to directly interact with the dogs that Pawprints cares for, like Julius, and that is something that I find incredibly frustrating.
“Julius has suffered dreadful neglect and pain. My first instinct when the dog warden brought him in was to reach out to him and I had to stop myself. I’ve never had to do that before.
“Julius and I have something in common that bonds us.
“Like Julius has, I’m going to lose my hair.”
Before Trisha’s hair falls out she plans to shave her head to raise money for the charity which is so close to her heart.
She added: “I want to raise funds for Pawprints and help cover the cost of Julius’ treatment and care, with any additional funds raised helping them to continue caring for the dogs that they save.
“It has been surprisingly easy to remain positive about my illness up to now. I know that I have years of volunteering ahead of me because Pawprints is always full of dogs, often over full.
“Any day now my hair will start to fall out. I have already had it cut to shoulder length and the final controlled stage will be to have it shaved. It’s going to be emotional, I won’t lie, but please help me turn this into a really positive experience and save lives while I’m fighting cancer.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/trisha-shaw to donate.