Dog finds new home after recovering from near-fatal flea infestation

A dog who went almost completely bald after being left with an untreated flea infestation has been converted to RSPCA care and is now loving life in a new home.

Bessie was rescued from a filthy plot last August where, unfortunately, her emaciated canine companion had starved to death.

Animal Rescue Inspector Garry Palmer told how he was presented with a “pathetic sight” when he came across a white Staffordshire bull terrier named Annie.

Every bone in her body protruded through her skin and she was so weak that she could not stand and raise her head just enough to drink water from a bowl beside her.

The Argus: Annie, who unfortunately was so neglected and mistreated that she had to be put down. Image: RSPCAAnnie, sadly so neglected and mistreated, had to be put down. Image: RSPCA

Lying in her own dirt, crawling with fleas, she was the “skinniest dog he’d seen alive.”

In another room of the Teeside mansion, Garry came across a dark colored Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Bessie.

She was a more normal body weight but was completely bald due to an untreated flea infestation that she could no longer scratch.

He carried both dogs to his van and took them to emergency medical attention.

The Argus: Bessie, while not in as distressed a state as Annie, was still very thin with missing hair on her back. Image: RSPCAWhile not in the distressed state of Annie, Bessie was still very thin and the hair on her back was missing. Image: RSPCA

Unfortunately the vet decided that Annie needed to be euthanized to end her suffering whilst Bessie was responding well to treatment and was rehabilitated by RSPCA Macclesfield, South East Cheshire and Buxton where she found her loving new home with Rob McNeil (31). his partner Jessica Murray (27) who lives in Buxton, Derbyshire.

A couple received a five-year ban on keeping all animals after being convicted of three animal welfare offenses. They were also sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment with a 24-month suspended sentence.

Now that her fur has grown back and she looks like a completely different dog, the couple say her initial shyness is gone and she has a lively personality.

The Argus: Bessie is now much more socialized and affectionate. Image: RSPCABessie is now much more socialized and affectionate. Image: RSPCA

Rob, a dog trainer, said: “It seems that she was unaccustomed to human interaction and was obviously shy due to the circumstances she had previously lived in and it must have been awful for her, especially as her four-legged friend was such a one suffering was exposed condition.

“We gave her a new home in November and her personality really came through in the new year. She’s a typical bouncy staffy who loves people and enjoys playing with her tennis ball. She’s still learning how to play with people, but she’s doing so well.”

Jessica said: “Bessie has made great progress and she loves her long walks and gets a lot of love and affection. It is so sad to think about her past, but it is great that she can look forward to such a happy future thanks to the work of the RSPCA.”

Garry said he was pleased to see Bessie enjoying the life she deserved and was pleased that something positive had come out of such a tragic case.

The Argus: Bessie enjoys a relaxing day at the beach with owners Rob and Jessica. Image: RSPCABessie enjoys a relaxing day at the beach with owners Rob and Jessica. Image: RSPCA

He said: “I was called in to investigate reports from a concerned member of the public about the welfare of the dogs and walking in I was really shocked.

“Poor Annie had access to a water bowl and when she went to drink she could only raise her head and was propped up on her two front legs, but she could not use her hind legs and stand.

“It was obvious to see that she was incredibly underweight, with a visible skeletal frame, and I could see fleas crawling all over this dog’s body. It was also clearly seen that the bitch had overgrown nails and hair loss in the paw area and one paw had a growth.

“By now Bessie was bald from the base of her neck to her tail and her skin had become thick and scaly. She felt uncomfortable from the fleas crawling on her body.

“One vet said both dogs suffered for at least a month, it was a really heartbreaking incident and one of those cases you don’t forget.”

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer of the RSPCA, said: “It is incredibly worrying that we are still seeing this high level of cruelty to animals in 2022.

“We have seen an increase in reports of beatings and with the increase in pet ownership and mounting financial pressures we are unfortunately set for a summer of suffering which is why we are calling on the public to help us end cruelty and have more animals to help like Bessie.” Dog finds new home after recovering from near-fatal flea infestation

Fry Electronics Team

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