SCHOOLBOY Thomas Moss will finally be able to play with his new puppy Buddy thanks to the generosity of supporters who paid for a lifesaving operation.
The future had been looking bleak for the shih tzu terrier, given to Thomas as a birthday present when he turned 11.
The poor pet had a life-threatening heart defect and needed surgery to get him back up and running.
Desperate Thomas turned to The News for help – and he was overwhelmed by the generosity of readers and other supporters who stepped in to help.
The heart procedure cost £2,500 which Thomas’s family could not afford.
They organised a sponsored dog walk to raise money and the cash started rolling in.
Around £800 was generated by the event and a local dog charity has stepped in to fund the rest.
Buddy has finally had his operation and has now been given the all-clear by vets.
He is recovering and will soon be fit and active enough to run around with Thomas and lead a life like any other dog.
Thomas, who goes to Isambard Brunel Junior School, Wymering Road, said: ‘This is brilliant news.I’m happy and glad that he survived the operation.
‘Once his stitches are out I’m looking forward to playing with him. I know he needs to rest right now. Finally I’ve got the best friend I’ve always wanted to have.’
Mum Tammy Jones, 34, of Newcome Road, Kingston, raised around £800 from a sponsored 3.5-mile dog walk.
The rest of the money was donated by the Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society.
Tammy said: ‘I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped. I was surprised at the number of people who turned up to the walk and donations we’ve had. I want to thank The News for all they have done.
‘But a big thank you goes to the Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society, which was so generous with its donation. We’re so grateful to them and I’m going to organise a fundraising event each year to support it.’
The chairman of the Rescue Society said that the charity agreed to help Buddy because they knew he faced a race against time.
Chairman John Hodgson said: ‘We have agreed to guarantee the funds for the operation.
‘Pre-funding the operation meant it reduced the stress on Thomas and the family and ensured that Buddy has the best possible chance of life.’