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downsmail.co.uk Op fails to restore spaniel’s sight


HOPES that a blind abandoned dog might recover part of her sight were dashed when surgery proved ineffective. Delphine the springer spaniel touched the hearts of hundreds of people after shewas found terrified and sick and tied to a pallet of bricks in Hayle Place, Maidstone in May. Her ears were infected and she had thick cataracts in both eye. She was nursed by staff at the RSPCA centre in Leybourne who launched an appeal for £2,500 in the hope that an operation could help her to see again. Describing her as a “lovely, gentle character”, centre manager Christine Dooley said: “The last familiar


WI meeting


AYLESFORD and Eccles WI will hold its meeting onWednesday,Au- gust 26 at the Brassey Centre,Ayles- ford, when there will be a talk by Jackie Gillard on Blended Therapies. There will be a raffle, teas and time for a chat aswell as a chance to find out about activities and outings. The competition will be any item starting with the letter O and the reycling stall will contain scarves and gloves. For more details, con- tact Eileen on 01622 715205 or go to the group’s Facebook page.


sound she would have heard was her owner’s footstepswalkingaway, then she was plunged into an un- known world of noises and smells – the RSPCA inspector that rescued her, the van as she was driven to Leybourne Animal Centre, then the overwhelming sound of dozens of dogs barking in the kennels.” Delphine, who is aged about six, progressed under the care of the cen- tre staff, going for shortwalks along the same route to get used to her sur- roundings. It was hoped that if she could see again, it would make her transition to a new home much eas- ier. Donations poured in and £3,654 was soon raised. Delphinewas taken to the Animal Health Trust at New-


market for surgery and initial tests, completed free of charge, indicated that shewas suitable for surgery. By removing the cataract in one eye, therewas a chance that she might re- gain some of her sight but therewas no guarantee of success. Christine said: “Delphine under-


went surgery and has recovered well. Very sadly, her sight could not be restored. She does have a very slow reaction to light but that is all. We would like to thank everyone for their generosity. She will find a spe- cial new home soon.” Any surplus funds raised will go


to help other animals at the centre. Delphine is pictured with RSPCA worker Simon McArdie.


Mobile classes at new school


THEfirst pupils at a new primary school at Leybourne Chase will start the new term in temporary classrooms. Construction of the one-form entry school to serve about 700 new homes at Leybourne Grange is not expected to be completed until Oc- tober. Meanwhile, KCC plans to place three mobile units on a fenced- off area which will eventually be the school playground. The mobiles will provide three classrooms, with office and admin accomodation for the 12 staff and there will be a small playground. KCC has submitted an application to Tonbridge and Malling Coun-


cil for temporary planning permission for six months. However, it an- ticipates the buildings will be used for a maximum of two terms. Along with two other schools due to open in September at Kings Hill


and Snodland, the school will be run by Valley Invicta Academies Trust.


Orchardwalk


JOIN a walk through the apple or- chards on Sunday, August 30 and help Malling District Lions Club raise funds for Prostrate Cancer re- search and support. There will be routes for everyone


and dogs arewelcome. Registration is from 9am-11am at East Malling Research, ME19 6BJ. For details go to www.mallinglionsclub.moon- fruit.com or call 01732 841078. The club, which has 28 members,


has raised more than £10,000 for the charity in the last three years.


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