UNITED KINGDOM – Champion boxer Jane Couch joined forces with the Patch Foundation to save the life of Tiger, a former racehorse. Together they nursed the starving horse back to health and happiness. An incredible story of generosity and kindness! – Global Animal

This Is Bristol, Heather Pickstock

AN ANIMAL lover who set up a foundation to help stray, injured or unwanted animals has teamed up with former world champion boxer Jane Couch to save the life of a former racehorse.

Sarah Ross, 46, set up the Patch Foundation four years ago after rescuing a Jack Russell terrier which had been thrown from a moving car by travellers in Patchway.

The dog, Patch, was taken to the RSPCA in Bristol where vets said he needed costly MRI scans and neurological surgery if he was to survive.

Rather than put Patch to sleep, Sarah took him on, raising the £4,000 needed for his operations and ongoing care – with £2,500 being raised as a result of an appeal in the Evening Post.

Businesswoman Sarah, who runs an audio visual and production company, spent months nurturing Patch back to health before he was happily re-homed with a family in Yate.

Her battle to bring Patch back to health and give him the happy life he deserved inspired Sarah, a mum-of- one, to set up the foundation.

Since its launch it has helped 15 animals, including a dog who severed his leg in an accident on a train track, and a cat called Archie who was mauled by a dog.

Her latest addition to the foundation is Salontiger, an eight-year-old former racehorse.

Salontiger had been abandoned by his owners in a field in Easter Compton – half a mile away from Spaniorum Farm, where boxer Jane trains.

Jane, 39, and Sarah are firm friends as Sarah stages boxing events for the five-times world champion.

Tiger, as he is now known, was just days away from death and had been left in the field sucking twigs in a bid to stay alive.

Sarah, of St George, Bristol, took Tiger to the stables at Spaniorum Farm where – with the help from the foundation, Rowe Vets, animal nutrition firm, Succeed, and Jane – she has helped him recover.

Because Tiger was so poorly and malnourished, Jane got up throughout the night for three months, hand-feeding him at two-hourly intervals.

It has cost around £5,000 to nurse Tiger back to health and, earlier this month, he was well enough to take part in a fun horse show.

Sarah said: “Tiger was in a very poor condition and the vets said he was just days away from death.

“He was lame, badly malnourished and had bad feet and no shoes and it has taken us six months to bring him back to health.

“When he first arrived at the farm, Jane would get up through the night and feed him every two hours.

“He absolutely adores her He will never race again but the young people at the farm have been working with him to make sure he gets plenty of exercise and one of the girls who trains with Jane, Megan Murdoch-Henry, has been riding him.

“The money raised through the Patch Foundation has helped us save this beautiful animal and give him the happy life he deserves.

“He will continue to live at Spaniorum Farm where he will be loved and looked after by a committed group of people.”

Jane continues to care for Tiger on a daily basis, mucking him out and making sure he has plenty of tasty treats.

Jane said: “I treated Tiger using the same principles as you would when training an athlete, and it seems to have worked.

“I’ve never had much to do with horses, but I just fell in love with him. It’s amazing to see the difference it has made to him. It’s been hard work, but very rewarding.”

The foundation helps sick, injured and stray animals and also assists pet owners who cannot afford treatment for their pets.

Sarah raises money for the foundation by organising charity dinners and other fundraising events.

She is appealing for people to make a donation to the foundation to ensure it can continue its work with animals.