Every now and then you come across a story that must be told. This story is one of incredible compassion, caring and commitment to a tiny, injured and helpless puppy that just had to be saved.

The story begins with a family holiday to Morocco. Nobody ever thought that a relaxing horse ride along the beach on Boxing day would lead to the events that follow.

Alexis (Lex) and her family were on the way back from a gallop along the beach. As they came to Devil’s Rock, she noticed a small puppy that was placed inside a box by the rubbish – it seems that somebody thought this was a solution to disposing of an unwanted puppy! On closer examination, the poor little thing had a badly damaged hind leg, could not walk and was terribly weak and dehydrated. Lex did not hesitate to scoop up the puppy and take her back to the ranch nestled in her lap.

Once at the ranch, her injuries were more obvious, so Lucy of MAA was called to see if anything could be done. The puppy was named Dusty Rocco and whilst awaiting a vet appointment was taken to the holiday home for re-hydration and a good clean up.

When dealing with such small puppies, it is very difficult to determine the extent and cause of the damage to their hips and legs without detailed x-ray examinations but to do this you must use anesthetic. With one so weak it is very dangerous, so she needed lots of foster care before this could happen. With Lex’s family holiday coming to an end, Lucy of MAA took Dusty in to get her strong enough to see what needed to be done. In the meantime, any treatment would be costly, so Lex created a Facebook group called “Saving Dusty Rocco” and started raising funds to provide foster care, ongoing treatment and eventually funds to take her back to the UK.

After a few weeks of dedicated care, Dusty had improved her condition and gained strength ready to have x-rays on her back and leg. Thankfully, it was not a spinal problem which was first suspected, but never the less it was a major hip fracture, so extensive surgery was still required.

The generosity and compassion of people still humbles me. As soon as the appeal for funds went out with this story, an astonishing amount was raised to fund the operation, the ongoing care and to cover all vaccinations and neutering, thus enabling the operation to take place. Dusty was still too young to undergo such extensive surgery, so MAA started the process of vaccinations for the end goal – Dusty to move to the UK. The export process is stringent and timings are everything. All vaccinations, especially rabies, must be planned and executed in a specific order and timeframe to conform to all regulations.

Meanwhile, Dusty was blissfully unaware of the preparations going on around her – she was just having such fun with Lucy and her other dogs, growing stronger and more confident each day – a huge change from the pathetic little bundle chucked out with the rubbish a few months previously.

Mama, recovered and ready to come home

Dusty Roco, badly injured and left in a rubbish bin

Mama, recovered and ready to come home

Dusty at her first vet visit, there were many more to come

Mama, recovered and ready to come home

Dusty in the arms of Georgie with Lucy,
foster mum looking on

Finally, the day came for her operation. It is always very distressing that such a huge operation must be performed and the risks are very high on one so small, but she is a fighter and soon the operation was behind her. The focus was now on getting her strength and giving her the love she needed to recover fully to face her next big challenge – the trip to England.

Over the last month, it has been a hive of activity, sorting out blood tests, final jabs, making travel plans and getting the paperwork in place for the last few days of her time in Morocco. Masses of emails passed between Lex and MAA confirming flights and transport arrangements, but finally last Thursday, Lex arrived in Agadir to take Dusty home.

With a few days of grace, we finalised the paperwork, did the final worm treatment, health certificate and got the many stamps from the State Vet Service – now Dusty was clear to go!

On Saturday morning, I dropped Dusty and Lex off at Agadir airport and after a big cuddle, Dusty trotted off to be checked in and loaded into her travel crate for the flight to Paris. The plan was to fly to Paris, then be collected and travel to Calais for the crossing via Eurotunnel. All went according to plan until the final check at Calais – the worming treatment had expired by a few hours. This meant that a local vet had to administer a further treatment and Lex and Dusty had to book into a hotel for the night (24 hours must pass after the treatment).

This meant a change of plans so Lex’s family drove to Calais to collect them – giving Lex’s daughter an unexpected trip and a chance to spend some time with Dusty in France.

Finally, the crossing was made and Dusty is now in South London enjoying grass for the first time in her life. She has settled down nicely and is adjusting very quickly – Lex’s other dog and Dusty are sorting out things together and soon this adventure will be a distant memory for her – little does she know of the effort and care put into getting her to England.

Having been involved in this process and spending a few days with Lex, I can honestly say she is an inspiration to others who think this is impossible to do – she raised funds and put herself in difficult situations to take this puppy from the rubbish bin in Morocco to London, despite all the problems. This is one lucky dog who was found by the right person, somebody who cared enough to do something about it. Morocco is full of dogs and cats all in desperate need of our help and that costs money. We are a group of volunteers who are trying to make a difference.

MAA is making great progress in making lives better for the animals in our area but this is a long-term project and we need your help – no matter how small, it all funds helping the animals in need. Can you make a regular monthly donation of a few pounds? Can you sponsor a dog through its treatment or do you want to adopt and ship a dog to your home country?

Please contact us for more information or just donate here.


After a long 6 months, Georgie and Dusty are finally reunited