A WOMAN who took on a feral Romanian canine so traumatised by human brutality he had to be sedated or netted before being approached, will be at the Grove Bookshop, Ilkley from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, July 27, accompanied by her dog Ursu, to sign copies of his remarkable story.

Sarah Napier has written ‘Ursu – Never Give up on a Dog’ to help raise funds for charity and inspire adoptions.

Ursu – meaning bear in Romania - was already aged around seven when his photo on a UK animal website caught the eye of Sarah in late 2014. Unfortunately, enquiries at the time revealed he was considered too mentally damaged to home and the charity sponsoring his keep in Romania – www.monicasromanianrescue.com - had just taken the decision that he should stay in the country.

Sarah said: “Ursu had survived as a stray for about two years on the streets of Bucharest before being caught by the dog catchers and flung into one of Romania’s most notorious kill shelters. Miraculously he survived on scraps of food for about three years despite being surrounded by death and disease and was somehow spared the barbaric regular killing of the dogs. No-one knows for sure how he survived but the book explores how this might be explained and how he came to be transferred to a better shelter, but still a kill shelter, where he continued to shun human contact despite the best efforts of some local volunteers.”

Despite the potential for a tragic tale ‘Ursu – Never Give up On a Dog’ is so-called because of its heart-warming portrayal of how there is no such thing as a bad dog, and that a canine’s emotional intelligence in its relationship with humans should never be underestimated.

Sarah added: “He arrived biting, bucking and terrified and hadn’t walked as such for up to four years. He wouldn’t take a collar or a lead. We were told he was the most mentally damaged dog the charity had ever seen. He was terrified of just about everything. We were beginning way back from the usual start line. He is now the most affectionate of dogs and exuberantly happy.”

Staunch animal-lover, TV presenter and former newsreader Jan Leeming was so bowled over by the story of Ursu that she chose to take time out to meet him during a trip from Kent to West Yorkshire in January. She said: “Ursu was a delight to meet. Happy, friendly and balanced. The patience that Sarah and her husband have shown is remarkable. What is even more astounding is how they managed to reach through to Ursu and turn him around from a feral frightened seven-year old stray into the placid and relaxed dog that he is today. It’s a fantastic read that I couldn’t put down.”

Mike Sansbury, manager of the Grove Bookshop said: “I’m regularly approached by self-publishers to stock their work and this book stood out for me for its content and style.”

The book is £7.99.