A DOG-lover who rescued Romanian pooch Ando has launched a desperate appeal to raise enough cash for him to have a lifesaving operation.

Ando was a dog living on the streets in Romania until he was caught and left to die in a public shelter.

But he was pulled from the shelter by an animal rescue volunteer, before being adopted and brought to the UK by Kirby Cross resident Heidi Bennett.

Heidi, of Peake Avenue, said: “We agreed to adopt him last year but we had to wait because he was too unwell to travel.

“He has had had a tough life. He was left to die before he was rescued so we feel fortunate to have him here.”

Ando was eventually brought over in February.

When he arrived he was severely underweight, with a sensitive stomach and a bad skin condition which caused him to lose some of his fur.

With the care of Heidi and Haven Vets in Clacton he has come on leaps and bounds over the last 16 weeks.

But recently he developed a severe limp and x-rays have revealed he has a diseased left hip joint.

Ando urgently needs a £3,000 operation to fix the problem or he will have to be put down.

Heidi said: “We have already spent about £800 in vets bills and special food to help him get to this point but we just cannot afford the operation.

“I wasn’t aware of the condition before adopting him. Because it was a pre-existing condition I can’t claim it through his insurance.

“I tried to remortgage the house and get a loan but I was refused. It’s heartbreaking.”

Heidi launched an appeal and generous donors have pledged more than £1,000 in just a couple of days.

She needs to raise another £2,000 in the next two weeks.

People can donate online at http://www.gofundme.com/9lj1y0