Dog rescued by Potters Bar RSPCA team now lives 'sassy' life after being cruelly abandoned
PUBLISHED: 10:16 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 07 July 2017
A dog which was so matted she cried whenever she was touched now loves nothing better than cuddling up to her new owner after being rescued by the RSPCA's Southridge centre near Potters Bar.
Little Shih Tzu Olive was handed into the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, near Potters Bar, in January 2016 after a member of the public found her cowering behind a pallet of bricks on a building site in Hertfordshire.
She was so matted she could barely move and cried out in pain every time she tried to move her head.
RSPCA inspector Stephanie Law was called in to investigate how the trembling, soaking wet dog had got into such a state and who was responsible for cruelly dumping her.
Inspector Law said: “When I saw Olive for the first time I was really, really upset.
“Her coat was really badly matted and she had terrible infections in her eyes and ears.
“She just looked a complete state, she wouldn’t move, she looked so bad, I haven’t seen a dog look that bad and still be alive, to be honest.
“She’d yelp in pain when you tried to move her head and you could tell she was in such discomfort I just felt really sorry for her.
“The fact someone could just leave her in that state, it really upset me.”
The pooch was taken to Wood Street Veterinary Hospital where she was examined under sedation.
It was only after she’d been clipped that the scale of her injuries became clear.
She had massive swellings around her head and neck, and her eyes were so badly swollen she couldn’t open them.
She also had a terrible ear infection and needed intensive treatment of antibiotics, eye drops and medicated baths every two hours.
Inspector Law added: “She was obviously in a lot of pain.
“She was already on quite a high dose of morphine and antibiotics and she was just totally unresponsive.”
While she recovered, Olive was fostered by the vet nurse Emily Brown.
The little dog soon settled in with Emily’s other dog, 15-year-old Shih Tzu cross Benji, and her five cats and two ferrets.
Emily quickly realised she couldn’t face being parted with Olive and adopted her, giving her a new name too.
Emily said: “She looks like a little old lady, no offence to any Bettys out there, but we just wanted to give her a little old lady name, so we called her Betty.
“I knew I wanted her straight away.
“She was just broken, she seemed exhausted, the things she must have gone through.
“I just knew she had to come home with me.
“Slowly over time you could see her character coming back, she was starting to trust us all.”
Her sight fully returned and Betty bonded with Benji.
Emily added: “She is obsessed with Benji, she absolutely loves him.
“If they’re apart for a long time, Betty gets really upset.”
The dog who once couldn’t even be touched without crying out in pain now loves cuddles with her owner.
Emily said: “She’s really sassy and has such a cute personality, she’s really cuddly but can be really playful at the same time.
“She’s just perfect, I don’t know how anyone could have treated her the way they did.
“She’s just incredible.”
Unfortunately, Betty wasn’t microchipped when she was found so no one was ever traced and investigated for allowing her to suffer.
Betty is one of 8,009 dogs rescued by the RSPCA last year - that’s nearly one every hour.
Olive starred in the Channel 5 Dog Rescuers presented by Alan Davies on July 4.
Alan Davies said: “The Dog Rescuers goes behind the scenes to see the RSPCA at work rescuing dogs from neglect and abuse.
“It’s sad to see dogs suffering but always a joy when they are nursed back to health and find loving new homes.”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care visit www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).