Dog looking like ‘pile of dirty old rags’ unrecognisable after transformation

A neglected dog whose coat looked like a “pile of dirty old rags” is unrecognisable after his rescue.

Larry came into the RSPCA’s care after being found as a stray in Crewe in Cheshire earlier this year.

The Poodle cross Maltese, who is thought to be around 13 years old, was in a terrible state with heavily matted fur caked in faeces and urine.

He was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where vets sedated him and shaved off almost 2kg of filthy fur.

The elderly dog, described as “sweet and gentle”, is now receiving lots of TLC at the charity’s Wirral and Chester branch in Wallasey.

Centre manager Kay Hawthorn, who is currently fostering Larry, said: “His transformation has been incredible.

“Under the huge matted clumps of fur, a sweet and gentle dog has emerged who’s been given a new lease of life.

“He was struggling to get around properly and it must have been so uncomfortable for him.

“Now he’s enjoying running around again – something he’s probably not been able to do for a long time – and given his advancing years, he’s surprisingly sprightly.

“He’s still a little hand shy and winces if you suddenly get too close, but if you take it very slowly and go under his chin he really enjoys a good fuss.

“Even though his weight was fine, given the state he was in, I can’t see he’s had much affection in recent months, but he’s quite a sociable little character and gets on well with my other rescue dogs.

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“Larry still needs some dental work done as his teeth are in a very poor state but for now he’s enjoying getting lots of attention from all the staff and volunteers here.”

The RSPCA has launched an investigation and is appealing to anyone who recognises the dog to come forward.

RSPCA inspector Louise Showering said: “Larry was in an appalling condition, his coat looked like a pile of dirty old rags and it’s likely he’d been neglected for a prolonged period of time.

“We think he was probably abandoned, or deliberately left to stray.

“His condition would have been of concern to anyone who saw him, and we’re very thankful to the member of the public who so kindly stopped and made sure he got the help he desperately needed.

“We’d reiterate to anyone who may be struggling to look after their pets, especially in the current financial climate, to seek help, and we would urge people to contact their vets, local rescues and animal welfare charities.

“Please don’t wait and let it get to the point where your animal is suffering and has deteriorated to the shocking state in which poor Larry was found.”

The RSPCA is seeing cases of abandonment rise amid the cost of living crisis.

In April, the charity received 1,508 reports to its emergency line about an animal being abandoned, up 9.6 percent from April 2022.

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