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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Friday, September 4, 2015
Insulting comments sent to prospective deputy Labour party leader Stella Creasy included 'you look like an alien egg' (Picture: YouTube)

‘She looks like she’s had more c**ks than hot dinners’ is just one of the charming emails Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has received during her campaign to become deputy Labour leader. Watch her read them out to camera here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized. Picture: AP Photo/DHA/PA Images

A tweet from the account of Wimbledon UKIP candidate Peter Bucklitsch caused outrage today by stating Aylan Kurdi ‘died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe’.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
This image of a Syrian father cradling his children went viral

Almost 70,000 people have pledged to attend a central London demonstration called ‘Solidarity with Refugees’ on September 12.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Sian Berry, who also stood as the Green Party London Mayoral candidate in 2008, has been chosen as the Green's 2016 candidate (Picture: PA Images)

Transport campaigner and arts-loving councillor Sian Berry has been selected as the Green Party candidate for London Mayor in 2016.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
A naval vessel outside the ExCeL exhibition centre at an earlier Defence and Security Exhibition in 2011.  Other exhibits included an F16 fighter jet (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

One of the world’s biggest arms fairs is coming to the ExCel centre in east London later this month, and more than 1,000 protestors are already planning to oppose it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Read more
Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more