A PENZANCE woman is appealing for help after running up a £3,000 vet's bill for her beloved pet dog.
Kerstin Hartmann, who works in a Penzance store, was faced with the bill after seven-year-old Smeagol fell out of the window of her first floor flat in Morrab Road, seriously damaging both her front paws.
Taken to the vets by neighbours – Ms Hartmann was at work at the time – it was originally thought that Smeagol could recover without major work.
But after a couple of days, it was clear he was still in a lot of pain – one paw was completely shattered while in the other one, the bones in his wrist had been pushed up to an inch out of position.
Ms Hartmann faced the stark choice of either paying £1,500 for each paw to be operated on or having Smeagol put down.
"It was like being hit by a hammer," said Ms Hartman, after being told of her options.
"It was an awful lot of money but how can you put a dog down just because he has broken legs?
"Smeagol is well known in the town – he enjoys life and is such a happy dog."
If you would like to help Ms Hartmann, she can be contacted on 07432 071272 or 01736 449618 or through her former partner on 07873 498184.