A YOUNG brother and sister are appealing for help to raise £11,000 for a vital operation on their beloved dog Boris.

Megan and Rhys Harries, aged 13 and nine, were delighted when their guardians Chris Mason and Carrie Harries brought the 18-month-old Labrador back from the Dogs Trust last November.

He was super-friendly and affectionate – but soon began to develop serious mobility issues, later diagnosed as a rare condition that affects his joints.

The vet's bills began to mount up and after the insurance company cancelled Boris's policy the family is now facing an uphill struggle to raise the money needed for hip replacement surgery.

Chris, of Stoke Gardens, Ellesmere Port, said they had set up a Just Giving page and are calling on people to donate whatever they can so Boris can remain on his feet and at Megan and Rhys's side.

He told the Standard: “Everyone loves Boris – he's the loveliest dog you've ever met in your life. But his condition means that walks like a 14-year-old dog.

“He has a collagen disease which is very rare and affects his hips, elbows and knees. He'll probably need to have them all replaced or pinned.

“We're told that he could live for another 10 to 14 years if he has the surgery, but if not then he would probably have to be put down within two years.”

He added: “Megan and Rhys would be devastated if they lost him. They'd always wanted a dog and were so happy when we took them to the Dogs Trust and told them he was theirs. They love him to bits.”

Chris, 56, said vet's consultation fees alone had cost them around £650 and the Dogs Trust had stepped in to pay £3,000 for a CT scan.

A referral letter from an orthopaedic veterinary clinic, seen by this newspaper, suggests there are three options available: “ongoing conservative management with medication”, “significant surgical intervention”, or “euthanasia”.

An estimate of costs included shows that surgery and associated costs for work on Boris's hips would cost £6,055 while the operation on his knees would be £3,518 and a further £4,093 for his elbows. This makes a total of £13,666 with the family initially aiming for £11,000 for the first bout of surgery and treatment. They say the final bill could run as high as £22,000.

To help them raise money for Boris's surgery visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/martin-mason