A dog almost died after being stabbed 50 times in a horrendous attack.Merlin, a mini Whippet-Jack Russell cross, had acid poured on his testicles, eyes and nose and ears and almost lost his ears and tail after his abuser tried to cut them off, during a savage assault in Brittany, France.
It is not known who inflicted his injuries and police have never prosecuted anyone.
The animal charity that took him in were warned that no one would want to adopt him due to the scars left on his body and his extreme mistrust of humans.
But four months ago, he was taken in by British couple Kim Wise, 53, and her husband Tim, who say they fell in love with the ‘beautiful’ survivor straight away. Kim says that they went to Compassion Animaux Bretagne – which rehouses vulnerable cats and dogs who aren’t coping with life in refuges – to look at a number of dogs they were interested in, but knew they had to take Merlin. She told Metro.co.uk: ‘When we went to meet him, he seemed to want to reach out, to want to trust.
‘I was worried that he would be shut down and it would be a really difficult journey, but I still wanted him because he’s got so much character.’
The couple, who moved to Mur-de-Bretagne two years ago but are originally from Hampshire, couldn’t get near Merlin when they first took him in because he was so traumatised.
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Kim said: ‘On the first night he stayed in the house, we couldn’t get near him.
‘But in the evening, he followed my other dog to my bedroom and just gave me a very, very long look and seemed to make the decision to trust me.
‘He snuggled up and that’s the way it’s been ever since.
‘Considering all that he’s been through, his capacity to give love is just incredible. He’s so amazing.’
‘He’s like a puppy to be honest. He’s starting his life over from the beginning again.’Although Merlin, who vets believe is four, now has a happy home, he still hasn’t fully recovered from the abuse and has sessions with a trainer to deal with fear aggression.
Kim, who lives on a farm with nine cats, seven horses and second dog, says that when Merlin first met her son Sam, 23, he would bark or run away as soon as he walked into the room.
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They suspect his abuser may have been a man of a similar age.
She said: ‘He just couldn’t take to him at all. He really struggled with him.
‘And we feel that it was a person of a similar age that might have hurt him.’
‘Sam had to help him confront the issue by just quietly not letting him run away.
‘And then he realized that he wasn’t going to do anything.’Stuart Neve, who runs Compassion Animaux Bretagne in Central Brittany with his wife Maria, says that when they first found Merlin, it took an hour and a half for a pet whisperer to approach him because he was so scared.
He said: ’He was terrified, very very timid.
‘He had to be constantly kept on a lead to make sure he couldn’t get out.
‘All he wanted to do was run off. You couldn’t get near him at all to stroke him at all.
‘The first thing we wanted to do was give him a big hug, but we couldn’t.’Maria and Stuart, who are from Cheshire, take in abandoned animals who are seen as having ‘no hope’.
They are currently taking care of a ten-year-old Labrador with terminal cancer who has months to live and another dog they rescued from a refuge who was starving himself after his dog friend passed away.
Speaking about Merlin, Maria said: ‘People were saying ‘look at him, no one’s going to adopt that dog, he’s got no tail, you can see all the scars’.
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‘You can still see all the scars on him and he’s the most beautiful dog.’
Compassion Animaux Bretagne receives no funding for vets bills and the couple are not paid for their hard work.
Consider adopting one of their animals into a loving home, or donating to support their mission here.