Mum’s court fight over son’s disabled dog

Wes Blundell, of Shaftesbury Avenue in Staining, has Downs Syndrome and has been given a new companion dog after the previous one had to be put down after only five months.
Wes with Ellie the German Shepherd.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
29-6-2016
Wes Blundell, of Shaftesbury Avenue in Staining, has Downs Syndrome and has been given a new companion dog after the previous one had to be put down after only five months. Wes with Ellie the German Shepherd. PIC BY ROB LOCK 29-6-2016
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A Fylde coast mum whose disabled son lost his companion dog to health problems has spoken out about her long court battle.

Jayne Innis, 48, spent £1,500 out of her son Wesley’s care package to provide him with a specially trained dog from Sussex Wolves in November 2015.

But two-year-old Basco the German Shepherd had to be put down after just four months after suffering a severe case of hip dysplasia – a genetic condition which causes leg pain and lameness in dogs.

Jayne, who works as a full-time carer for Wesley, 23, who has Down Syndrome and autism, said: “From the day we got him he wouldn’t let you touch his back end and if you did touch him he would cower and whimper.

“He was stumbling around from side to side.

“His behaviour was very erratic and he showed signs of aggression when you touched him.”

Despite several visits to the vet, Basco’s condition worsened and Jayne was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep.

She said: “We could have sent him away for more tests but at the end of the day we would have been just delaying the inevitable, and he was in pain.

“It was a very difficult decision.

“I had to explain to Wes that Basco had gone. Though he’s 23 he’s quite child-like.

“I told him Basco had gone to live on a farm and run around in the fields.”

Jayne took dog breeders Kelly and Steve Murrell, of Sussex Wolves, to court in the hope of claiming back the money spent on Basco. They were ordered to pay £131.44 in vet fees.

Jayne said: “I’m not 100 per cent happy with the outcome but I’m glad I can put it behind me.”

And it’s a happy ending for Wesley, who lives with his mum on Shaftesbury Avenue in Staining, as he is now enjoying walks with his new best friend – seven-year-old German Shepherd Ellie.

The pet was given to Wesley free of charge by dog trainer Louise Eaton from the National Dog Training Centre in Widnes.

Jayne said: “He’s doing great with Ellie. She has improved his life massively.

“We used to have a problem with Wes wandering off. Since Ellie has been here he’s been totally calm.

“He’ll sit on the floor for hours stroking her and talking to her.”

Kelly and Steve Murrell declined to comment.