‘Traumatised’ dog owner hit with £5k vet bill after insurer refuses to pay out

A ‘traumatised’ dog owner has been left with £5,000 of debt after his beloved pet required a life-saving operation – and his insurer refused to pay out.

Ashley Swift was hit with the huge bill after Caucasian Mountain Shepherd Bella suddenly collapsed in the early hours of Friday.

The 29-year-old rushed his pup to the vet where she was diagnosed with a twisted stomach and a ruptured spleen – with Ashley told Bella faced being put down if she didn’t undergo emergency surgery.

Now, the delivery driver, from Biddulph, has launched an online fundraiser to help pay for his dog’s medical treatment after his insurer refused to cover the costs.

Speaking to Stoke-on-Trent Live, Ashley said: “It was horrible – I have had her since she was six weeks old. I’ve spent every day with her. It was traumatic and the most horrible experience I have ever had.”

Ashley rushed Bella to the emergency vets and she underwent the emergency surgery.

He added: “It broke my heart. I can go to work every day to earn money – I can’t get another Bella. It’s one of the things I have feared every day since I got her. I researched the breed for three years.”

Bella's scar following her operation.
Bella’s scar following her operation.

Ashley has launched the GoFundMe online appeal as he faces having to pay up by July 16.

He added: “This is my last resort – we are quite a proud family. At the time, I didn’t know what to do. I’d pay anything for her. But I haven’t got that sort of money lying around. She had a four-hour operation. They saved her life.”

Ashley and Bella.
Ashley and Bella.

The insurer has refused to pay out after five-year-old Bella underwent an operation in March following an issue with a mammogram.

Ashley added: “I don’t want anybody knocking on the door about repossession. It’s quite outrageous that it was that much.

“If I have to work constantly for the next three or four years, at least I’ve still got my dog.”

To support the online appeal click here.

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