A DOG that spent nearly a year living wild in a park has finally been taken into care.

The dog had been seen in Victoria Park in Taunton by members of the public for the last ten months. Many tried to befriend and feed her, but she was very frightened and no attempts were successful.

Until one woman, Christine Walker, managed to gain the dog’s trust and she was caught in a garden after suffering through the snow in the park.

The dog has now been named Norma and has been taken to St Giles Rescue Centre in Wrantage.

Ms Walker said: “I have been involved with the recovery of several fearful strays and escapees like Norma all over the UK. When I was tagged in a Facebook post about her a month ago and she was a local dog, I knew it was time to get my thermals, purple coat and wellies on and go and see what I could do to help.

“I got in touch with Jo Southway from Happy Landings who had been involved to find out how I could help.

“I do rehab foster for dogs like Norma, so I knew with time and patience I could win her trust, but working in a busy public park did make things challenging at times.

“The local residents were brilliant and it is due to them listening and learning that she was eventually caught in a garden.”

Somerset County Gazette:

TREATMENT: The team at St Giles helping Norma

While at the rescue centre a few things have been discovered about Norma - including that she has a foreign microchip which is not registered to a UK address.

A spokesman for St Giles said: “We have a fantastic team here at St Giles; our vet, physio, dog trainer, external behaviourist and all other staff who are willing to work with Norma in order to find her a forever home with someone who can carry on this work and keep her safe in future.

“The vet managed to sedate Norma with Christine’s help and avoid any undue stress. It has been reported to us that Norma seems to have a limp so we have also X-rayed her legs. From the outcome of her X-rays, we have come to the conclusion that Norma seems to have had a previous injury resulting in arthritis in her shoulder joints and some damage to the bone. We can also see from her X-rays that the top of her tail has separated from her spinal column, again likely due to trauma and she has had a very short tail docking.

“We suspect after checking her tummy for a scar that Norma is neutered, we have also started her vaccination program.”

Somerset County Gazette:

CALM: Norma relaxing after a stressful time living in the park

A donation page has been set up for Norma and has already brought in more than £700. Any funds that Norma does not need for vet bills or medical supplies will be used to help other dogs at the centre.

Click here to donate.

The centre will be posting updates on Norma’s progress on its Facebook page.