Big vet's bill for lucky Luka

Close call for Feilding canine

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 12:00 08/11/2012
Luka
WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ

LUCKY: Luka, a border collie, has been in surgery at Massey University after being hit by a car, with owner Andrew Hardaker.

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A Feilding dog that narrowly avoided death when he fled onto the road in panic at the sound of fireworks has found stardom as he recovers from his injuries.

Luka, a border collie, is recovering from surgery at Massey University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital after a weekend car crash that totalled a car and a power pole and left the frightened 8-year-old dog fighting for his life.

A woman driver who swerved to avoid Luka when he ran onto the road late last Friday evening clipped the dog's legs and crashed into a power pole on Rangitikei Line.

Witnesses to the crash said the driver escaped her ordeal almost unscathed, but the car was a wreck, the power pole required replacing to the tune of $10,000 and Luka's owners have since racked up more than $6000 worth of medical bills.

But his misfortune has gained the dog an audience.

Prime Television has filmed "lucky" Luka's recovery every step of the way for an episode of its upcoming show Animal Files, featuring his story and recovery.

Luka's owners, Lynne and Andy Hardaker, were not home when Luka escaped from their Rangitikei Line home and took to the road. They believe he panicked at the sound of fireworks and are unsure how he escaped the fully-fenced property.

"He never went on to the road; he just knew not to. We don't even know how he got out," Mrs Hardaker said.

When they returned home later that evening they realised the dog was gone and began doorknocking to look for him.

Neighbours found Luka so seriously injured his owners, faced with thousands of dollars in surgery bills and no pet insurance, were given the option to have him put down.

But the Hardakers were not ready to give up on their beloved pet.

"For me there was no doubt. It was up to Andy, and Luka just looked into his eyes and there was no question," Mrs Hardaker said.

Luka underwent surgery at Massey's vet teaching hospital on Monday.

Specialist small animals surgeon Andrew Worth said Luka would have to be kept inside for two months while he recovered from two broken legs, a major fracture and an open wound that carried the risk of infection.

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- Manawatu Standard

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