AN ANIMAL lover from Pontefract who rescued a neglected dog from what he claims is a mafia-run mountain in Italy is seeking the public’s help to bring the animal to the UK.
Yorkshire Water worker Tony Banks, 53, saved the German shepherd dog life’s after spotting it tied up and close to death by the side of the road near his holiday home in the Calabria region of Italy.
He rescued the dog last month and has taken it to a ‘safe house’ where it is being looked after by an Italian family as he seeks to raise £1,500 to bring it to the UK to be re-homed and help pay vets’ bills.
Mr Banks, who has called the dog ‘Lucky,’ said: “The dog was at the side of a mountain road tethered to a post. It had ear mites which made its ears bleed.
“It had a massive abscess on its back leg and sever lacerations to its neck where the metal chain had gone into its neck. It was severely weak, chronically dehydrated and starving.
“Despite what must have been agonising pain it didn’t bite. It was so placid and friendly.”
He added: “The entire area is run by the mafia. The mountain is owned by the mafia . Anything on it is the mafia’s, it is as stark as that.
“The dog is in a safe house quite some distance away and is being looked after by a family until it is fit enough to travel.” Mr Banks can be contacted by e mail at email@example.com