A FAMILY is 'staggered' after nearly £1,000 has been raised to help prevent their beloved dog from being put down.

Seven-year-old German Shepherd cross Ruby was running through Croftlands Park in Ulverston when she snapped her anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.

After undergoing an x-ray, vets told her concerned owner Andrew O'Neill that the injured canine needed an operation or she may have to be put down.

Desperate on giving their beloved pet a chance, the family launched a fundraiser to help subsidise the surgery and subsequent aftercare which is estimated to cost around £3,000.

The fundraiser has already raised nearly £1,000, including one anonymous donation of £300, which the family are 'hugely grateful' for.

"We never expected to raise this much," Mr O'Neill said.

"It feels amazing knowing that people are supporting us in this way. We just can't believe people's generosity.

"It really is amazing."

Currently, Ruby is in 'immense' discomfort and pain - which will only continue unless she is able to undergo life-saving surgery.

"She's in so much discomfort and pain, it's horrible to see," Mr O'Neill said.

"She means everything to the family.

"She's a big part of our family. The fact that we might have to put her down is just heartbreaking. But she's not her happy self right now, you can see she's in pain."

The dad-of-six was 'staggered' after the fundraising page was inundated with donations, with hopes Ruby's life-changing surgery is one step closer to reality.

He said: "We thought people might donate £1 or something, never in a million years did we think people would be donating £50 and even £300.

"It's just amazing. We're astounded by the generosity of people. All we can say is thank you.

"It would really change her life to be able to have the operation - it would make a massive difference and mean so much to us.

"The smallest donation will help."

If you would like to make a donation, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/dqspu-help-ruby.