Scores of Good Samaritans have donated hundreds of pounds to an online appeal for treatment - or a humane end - for a beggar’s dog.
Seven-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Roxy is well-known in Kirkcaldy, Fife where her owner, Paul Flockhart, begs for money in the town centre.
Those who regularly stop to give her a treat, a tin of food or some spare cash were devastated to learn that she may have only weeks to live: Roxy was recently diagnosed with an enlarged spleen and has spots on her liver.
Now, a JustGiving campaign launched to fund her vet bills has raised almost £1000 in three days.
Roxy’s condition is to be reviewed shortly but Paul, 46, expects that he will have to agree to the heart-breaking inevitability of having her put to sleep.
Paul, 46, said he was touched by people’s generosity towards his beloved pet.
He told a local paper: “Sometimes you think that everyone is wrapped up in their own lives but sitting in the High Street begging for money teaches you that the world’s not that bad a place.
“It could have been the difference between having her and not having her if it had been possible to make her better.”
Loyal Roxy has been by Paul’s side since he agreed to look after her five years ago and she ended up staying with him.
The pair, who sit come rain or shine under a shelter in Bell Inn Wynd, are well-known to shoppers, workers and townsfolk walking between The Postings shopping centre in the town and the High Street.
Paul began to worry about Roxy when he noticed she was losing weight and he took her to the vet when he found a lump on her side.
He hoped it was just a hernia, which she suffered before, but learned that the prognosis was bleak.
Although her spleen may have been operable he was told there was little hope for her due to the spots on her liver, and her health was likely to deteriorate over the next four weeks.
When she returns to the vet Paul may have to decide to let her go.
He said: “I’m slowly coming round to accepting that I’m going to have to take a bit of suffering so she doesn’t have to.”
The fundraiser was launched by Grace Studders, of Kirkcaldy, to pay for Roxy’s final assessment and either her treatment or “final journey”.
Any donations not used for vet bills will go to an animal charity, most likely the PDSA, which treats the sick pets of the poor and needy.
For more charity stories, you can go to The Scotsman Giving Back