Heartbreak for gran, 61, forced to put down five dogs – due to rare disease 'Horrific'

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Wendy Hayes, 61, had five dogs, which contracted Brucella canis from a Belarusian rescue dog she was fostering. The infected dog, Moosha, had only been with Wendy for three days before signs emerged.

Ms Hayes, from Stoke-on-Trent, brought Moosha, a German Shepherd cross, over through a rescue dog company which sources strays from Ukraine and Belarus.

She was initially put on a “stay at home” notice due to a fear of rabies – but both her and the rescue dog were eventually diagnosed with Brucella canis two months later.

Human transmission of the disease is rare but after the grandmother-of-two starting showing severe symptoms she was tested and remains on antibiotics.

As a result, Ms Hayes suffered a high temperature, chills, and shivers, bad shakes, severe headaches, severe back ache and low blood pressure.

Because the rescue dog was infected, Ms Hayes was forced to say goodbye to her Jack Russell Benson, 13, Patterdale Cross Dougie, 11, pug named Tiny, four, and an unknown breed pooch named Max, nine.

Speaking to the Mirror, Ms Hayes said: “It felt so unreal, to think about how many people are in the UK, to think that this is the first ever for this type of strain.

“The doctors were actually quite excited.”

Ms Hayes said she “went into shock” after realising what she would have to do to the family dogs.

She said: “The impact is devastating. The life went out of the house, it didn’t feel like home.

“There was a feeling of guilt as it was my choice to bring her into the house. It didn’t feel like a home.”

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Ms Hayes said the foster company needed to take more responsibility for testing.

She added: “I had Moosha for three days, she came on March 20 before she started aborting her puppies, which was pretty horrific.

“She was literally walking around the house dropping her puppies, there was blood all over the house.

“I managed to get a hold of two of them. Tried to bring it around but it was dead. That is probably when I contracted the disease.”

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