Dog nicknamed Ben-Hur has wheelchair stolen

15:00 13 December 2012

Disabled dog Cerebus with his temporary replacement wheelchair. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Disabled dog Cerebus with his temporary replacement wheelchair. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A wheelchair which belonged to a disabled dog dubbed the Ben-Hur of Hampstead Heath has been stolen from his family’s front garden.

Cerebus with his six-year-old owner DidierCerebus with his six-year-old owner Didier

Cerebus, an eight-year-old boxer, was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal disease that rendered him paralysed in his back legs this summer.

Since then the helpless hound has relied on a specially made dog chariot designed for his weight and size to help him get around.

He has even become something of a celebrity on Hampstead Heath much to the amusement of other canines unsure whether Cerebus is half dog, half machine.

But last Thursday, December 6 the wheelchair was snatched from his owners’ front garden in Wildwood Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, between 1pm and 4pm.

The contraption is of no use to any other dog apart from Cerebus, who takes his name from Cerberus, a multi-headed hound which guarded the gates of Hades in Greek mythology.

Cerebus’s owner Olivier Levenfiche said his wife Tania and four children, including six-year-old Didier, have been left devastated by the theft.

Mr Levenfiche said: “We can’t believe it. That chariot was made especially for Cerebus.

“How could anyone come into our home and steal something from a disabled dog?

“It’s like tipping an old lady out of a wheelchair.”

Cerebus uses his front legs to ride along when he is fixed into the cart on wheels. Without his wheelchair he cannot go for walks or even get to his food bowl in his home.

Mr Levenfiche said: “It is of no use to anyone. It’s just so cruel. They have deprived a disabled dog.

“Before he had his chariot he would not have been able to go out. This gave him back his life.

“It is like stealing a wheelchair from a grandmother. The children are so upset over it.”

Luckily, dog-wheelchair maker Jim Colla, of Dogswheels.com, heard about Cerebus’, plight and showed pity on the pooch dropping him off a custom-made new set of wheels for free.

The Levenfiche’s have thanked Mr Colla for his kindness and are offering a reward of £200 if the wheelchair is returned, which will be donated to a charity.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:13
The cyclist was killed by a lorry in Richmond (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

A cyclist has died this afternoon from injuries sustained in a crash with a bin lorry in Richmond during rush-hour yesterday morning.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:14
The 174 bus collided with a house in Harold Hill (Picture by Dani Walsh)

A double-decker bus rolled backwards down a hill and crashed into a house in east London yesterday afternoon.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Chrissie Wellington tweeted about the theft

A brazen cycle thief was caught on camera breaking into an office in south London and stealing Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington’s prized triathlon bike.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 15:13
The cyclist was killed by a lorry in Richmond (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

A cyclist has died this afternoon from injuries sustained in a crash with a bin lorry in Richmond during rush-hour yesterday morning.

Yesterday, 09:14
The 174 bus collided with a house in Harold Hill (Picture by Dani Walsh)

A double-decker bus rolled backwards down a hill and crashed into a house in east London yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:00
Chrissie Wellington tweeted about the theft

A brazen cycle thief was caught on camera breaking into an office in south London and stealing Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington’s prized triathlon bike.

Yesterday, 11:24
Almost 30,000 offenders were handed a police caution last year, sometimes for serious crimes (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Met has been accused of ‘letting criminals off’ after figures reveal almost 30,000 cautions were handed out last year for crime including rape, arson and robbery.

Yesterday, 10:30
The Sherlock star gets measures up for his waxwork (Picture: Madame Tussauds)

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch joked he’ll be able to photobomb himself now after Madame Tussauds revealed it is creating a waxwork of the actor.

Yesterday, 08:07
The disabled woman was attacked after she accidentally rolled over a woman's foot with her wheelchair at Victoria (Picture: Getty)

A disabled woman was abused by a man who grabbed her wheelchair and tilted it after she accidentally rode over a woman’s foot at Victoria Station.

Yesterday, 17:54
Andrew Adams, a retired teacher at Highgate Wood School pleaded guilty to a charge of buggery at Wood Green Crown Court.

A 68-year-old who groomed and sexually abused a pupil when he worked as a PE teacher in Crouch End in the 1980s has been jailed for 12 years.

Promotions

Renault Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more