Meet Nero, the rescue dog who is starting a new life in Leeds after being shot in the head and face

Nero with Lacey, one of new owner Peter Haigh's other rescue dogs.
Nero with Lacey, one of new owner Peter Haigh's other rescue dogs.
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He likes trips to the pub, corned beef is his favourite treat and he loves a fuss.

Nero, the seven-year-old German Shepherd sounds just like any other much loved pet but only a few weeks ago he was a dumped street dog in Romania that had been maimed with a 12 bore shotgun.

Peter Haigh and Nero

Peter Haigh and Nero

Luckily, after six years on the streets, the horrifically injured dog was found and taken to a vet in the Arad City region of Western Romania and three weeks ago Nero came to start a safe, new life in Cookridge.

He has been adopted by dog lover Peter Haigh, 54, and will live with him and his other two rescue dogs.

Nero has to take special medication to reduce the effects of lead poisoning as some of the gun pellets are embedded so deep in his head that they cannot be removed.

Mr Haigh and Nero found each other via the German Shepherd Dog Rescue organisation, which he has volunteered for in the past, and works with the vet that treated Nero back in Romania.

An X-Ray which shows where the pellets are still lodged in Nero's head.

An X-Ray which shows where the pellets are still lodged in Nero's head.

Mr Haigh said: "He was a street dog for six years as far as I know. Someone shot him with a 12 bore in the face and threw him in a ditch. Dogs are really ill-treated there. Someone found him and took him to a super vet who patched him up and took the bullets out of his head and neck. He lost part of his face and has some lead that can't be removed because it is too deep."

The drugs that Nero can take are quite rare and local vets have not come across a lead case as bad as this before. Nero will have to be tested every six months to make sure the levels of lead in his system are de-creasing. He is also a little deaf, probably caused by being shot, but other than that he is settling into his new life at Woodhill Road well.

Mr Haigh added: "I lost my wife, Jane, to cancer two years ago and we rescued dogs for 25 years. I am on my own now and carry on the rescue work. I have a Staffie and a crossbreed that are both 12 and Nero to keep me going.

"He can't sleep at night and has panic attacks and wakes up in the night but he likes people, children and dogs. He likes his food and corned beef and likes going to the pub. We go to The New Inn and Eccup and that has brought him round quite a lot.

"He is doing really well to say what he has been through".

Read more: Kittens also in need of new homes.