A LEEDS carer is celebrating being reunited with her runaway Staffordshire bull terrier after a wrangle with the council and the Dogs Trust over a £1,000 vets bill.
Liz White of West Grange Gardens in Belle Isle was distraught when 18-month-old Bronson managed to slip out of her garden last month and disappeared.
Sightings over the next few days raised hopes but, after searches of each location, desperate calls to the police and local dog refuges all drew a blank, she was beginning to accept there was a chance he'd gone for good.
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So when the 48-year-old care worker got a call from Leeds City Council telling her Bronson had turned up, she was thrilled he was safe and asked if she could come and collect him.
However, Ms White was told Bronson had a badly damaged leg and, she could only have him back if she could afford the estimated 1,000 cost of having the limb amputated.
"The other options were to come and collect him and pay 200 for the treatment he'd received so far or to pay to have him put down," she said.
Ms White, offered to pay in installments but was turned down. She claims pleas to be told where Bronson was being cared were rejected and the council refused to divulge who would look after Bronson once he recovered.
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"I work for a living and we've done our best but I felt like I was being punished when I hadn't done anything wrong. All I wanted was Bronson back."
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman confirmed Bronson was recovering in the care of Dogs' Trust, which paid the vets' fees.
Following the YEP's inquiries, Ms White received another call informing her she was welcome to collect Bronson from his temporary home.
"They said I shouldn't be penalised when I'd tried to do everything right by calling the police and the dogs homes," she said.
The Dogs Trust said: "Ms White has now been reunited with her pet, Bronson. We know how distressing losing your dog can be. Bronson was microchipped so his owner could be traced."