One year on from being discovered in freezing woodlands bald and shivering, the remarkable black and white dog called El has blossomed into a cherished, fun-loving pet. Amazingly, the 10 week old crossbreed was rescued moments before she would have froze to death as five-inches of snow were about to cover the spot where she had been heartlessly abandoned wrapped in Sports Direct bag for life. Her scab-covered skin was coated with glitter when she was found by walkers out braving the sub-zero temperatures and who rushed her to vets to begin the long journey back to health and the arms of caring new owners.
Before and after pictures show how El – named after a character from the hit Sci-fi television series, Stranger Things – is lapping up this year’s festivities, enjoying lots of seasonal treats and sleeps by the fireside. When El was found last December 28 near Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, she was suffering badly from demodectic mange which had left her bald and her skin looking red raw.
RSPCA Inspector Kristina Raines, who investigated El’s abandonment, described her astonishment over the way the puppy had been discarded like unwanted Christmas leftovers.
She said: “It was absolutely freezing and, being so young and vulnerable, I’m amazing El had survived as long as she had. She was in such a state. She was freezing cold, starving hungry and had lost almost all of her fur from a nasty case of demodectic mange.
“She’d been dumped in a ‘bag for life’ that had clearly been used to store Christmas decorations and she was covered in glitter, the remnants of the decorations, which must have been hung on a tree and adorning a mantel piece somewhere.
“I was lost for words that someone could, just days after Christmas, dump a tiny, vulnerable puppy in the freezing weather. She’d been left to die. It’s utterly heart-breaking.”
El before and after her Christmas dumping (Image: RSPCA)
Hell for a bald puppy called El left to die in freezing cold (Image: RSPCA)
The woodland spot where El was left to die in bag for life (Image: RSPCA)
El having a swell time this Christmas with new owners (Image: RSPCA)
A year on and adopted by Antony and Karl Simmons Sergent, El has a sparkling black and white coat and a life of pampering – light years from the horrors she faced last Christmas.
Antony said: “ I dread to think what Christmas was like for El last year just days before she was discovered dumped in the woods.
“This year, our Christmas will be extra special as we get to share it with El. She’s going to get very spoiled with treats and presents and has already got her spot in front of the fire reserved for sleeping off her special Christmas dinner.”
The RSPCA says despite El’s horrendous treatment she is one of the lucky pets this Christmas as thousands face cruelty, neglect and suffering. Last year, the animal welfare charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas and saw the animal welfare charity take in 5,429 animals.
This Christmas, the RSPCA is asking the public to support its Delivering Kindness at Christmas appeal. To donate, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness .