A neglected puppy with a list of horrific injuries has found a loving home with the veterinary carer who helped nurse her back to health.
Four-month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Thea turned up to Blackpool PDSA Hospital in desperate need of medical attention after being badly bitten by another dog.
Thea required stitches for deep bite wounds on her neck, including one that narrowly missed the jugular and vets at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital also noticed that Thea had a number of older scars and wounds across her body.
The traumatised pup was cared for by student veterinary care assistant Linda Wong-Hunter who was so touched by her plight she decoded to adopt her.
Linda said: “I have come across some serious dog bites in the past, but it was really upsetting to see a young puppy in such a distressed state.
“Thea was absolutely terrified and would cower behind me, she had terrible injuries and worryingly was also just skin and bone, and I felt so sorry for her. I spent a lot of time with Thea during those first few hours, and slowly she began to trust and respond to me. She started to see me as a safe person who would care for her.”
Vets at the Pet Hospital were concerned about the puppy’s welfare, so spoke to her owners about the situation.
The owners admitted they had been struggling to cope with looking after a new puppy and recognised they were not giving her the care that she needed, so they signed Thea over to the care of PDSA.
Linda said: “I had a good talk with my managers to make sure that this would be the right thing for both Thea and myself. I had become very attached to her and, with the owner not in a position to look after her, I decided to take her on.
“Thea took a while to settle into her new surroundings. Neither of us got much sleep during that first night, Thea was crying and howling, even something as simple as switching the lights off would startle her.
“But we got through it and took things day-by-day. Rather than pushing her to do stuff, I let Thea lead the way. Slowly she has started to come out of her shell and the change I have seen in Thea in the past few weeks has been remarkable.”
After a few weeks, Thea’s wounds began to heal and she is now a healthy weight and Linda has taught her how to play fetch for the first time and describes her as a lot more comfortable around other people.
Linda added: “We are taking things a day at a time but Thea has come a long way from the terrified puppy I first met. She is so boisterous and playful, and is growing in confidence each day.
“I can’t comprehend what Thea must have gone through in her short life. All I can do is provide her with the love and support that will help her grow into a happy and healthy dog.”