A FAMILY who successfully made an emotional appeal to save their pup’s life have been hit with a ‘devastating’ blow.

Erin Leith was thrilled when donations poured in to help pay for surgery to remove a tumour from her pet Winnie’s head.
She gathered the £2,000 she needed and the Jack Russell went to see a top neurologist in Stirling for a scan.

But the prognosis is not good for Winnie, and Erin’s dad Brian, on the advice of experts, has now decided not to go ahead with the operation.

He explained: “The tumour has grown and is embedded in her skull.

“We have been told it is too much a risk to operate.

“We’re all devastated but I’m just not prepared to put her through that.

“There is a high risk of infection and of paralysis, seizures and brain damage.

“She could suffer fits.

“The size of the tumour has just multiplied by the time we took her for the scan.”

Winnie lives with Erin, Brian, his wife Helen, and their other children Amy and Andrew in Bannockburn Street.

The family have had two-year-old Winnie since she was 12 weeks.

Brian, 50, a taxi driver, says that they will care for her at home until the time comes.

He said: “It’s not really affected her, she is still a happy wee dog.”

The family wanted to return the £1,500 in appeal funds left over after paying for the scan, to give back to the community who supported them in their hour of need.

They have decided to divide the money between animal welfare organisation Underheugh Ark and the Telegraph’s Show Some Heart appeal for defibrillators in memory of late schoolboy Jayden Orr.

Brian said: “We wanted to give back to local people who raised the majority of the money for Winnie’s appeal.”

Brian says he and his wife Helen were very moved by Jayden’s story in the Tele and wanted to help.

He said: “It’s a local campaign, championed by the Telegraph who helped us, and it is quite a touching story.

“My wife and I have been reading all about what Jayden’s family have been through and what they are hoping to do.

“I’ve had heart trouble and I’ve lost both my parents through heart disease, so the defibrillators can only be a good thing. The more the better.

“It puts our situation into perspective.”

Jayden’s parents Kathleen and John, who have opened a charity shop called Jayden’s Rainbow in Jamaica Street, have thanked Brian and his family for their kind donation.

Kathleen said: “It was a shock when he came into the shop first thing in the morning.

“It was a very nice surprise. It always nice when someone does something like that.

“I remember seeing the story about Winnie — it’s a shame.”