Meghan Markle charity SAVES 'shaking, scared and starving' dog on brink of death

A CHARITY championed by the Duchess of Sussex is rebuilding the life of a “shaking, scared and starving” dog left on the brink of death.

These shocking video scenes show the pitiful state of Tess the German Shepherd when she was brought into Mayhew – the animal rescue charity that touched Meghan’s heart. Poor Tess was rescued by Mayhew because her owner was seriously ill and could no longer cope with her care. Miraculously, Tess is now on the road to recovery, with the charity promising to be with the six-year-old black and tan pet every step of the way.

When Tess arrived at Mayhew – the London animal home established in 1886 and which received Meghan’s royal patronage at the beginning of the year – she was in a pitiful state, weighing a fraction of the healthy weight of a German Shepherd and could barely stand.

Patches of fur were missing, with her tail stripped almost bare and her body was covered in painful sores. She was described as “shaking, scared and starving” by staff and on the brink of death. At 19 kgs, she was also well below the 25-30kg weight recommended for the breed and gender.

Mayhew’s head of kennels Maria Markey describes on film her reactions when she first saw Tess.

She said: “I was shocked. Walking into a kennel and seeing a dog in that condition was heart-breaking. Her skin was red raw. It was inflamed. I would say 50 per cent of her fur had gone.

“She was highly emaciated – skin and bones. She was drained, drained of emotion and drained of life…”

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Tess the dog looking scared

Tess the dog was described as “shaking, scared and starving” (Image: Mayhew)

Tess with red raw legs

Tess's skin was red and raw when she was rescued (Image: Mayhew)

Following in its founding principles of benefitting London’s dogs and cats to “provide sanctuary from the cold inhumanity they are dealt outside”, Mayhew veterinary and kennel staff began relieving her suffering and trying to establish why she was in a critical state, taking swabs to see if there were underlying causes for her inflamed skin and fur loss.

She was put in a warm kennel with a sofa and blankets, bathed to help soothe her sores and also put on a special diet with little and often feeds to stop her stomach being overwhelmed.

The tender, loving care Tess is receiving has seen her making steady progress. In a statement, Mayhew explained: “Happily, Tess’s specially designed diet seems to be doing the trick, and her weight is gradually increasing to a more normal range. After almost seven weeks, she now weighs a much healthier 26kg.

“There is still a while to go before Tess is fully recovered, but our teams are hopeful that she will continue to improve. We carefully monitor her progress, and celebrate every small victory. Every gram she gains and every patch of fur that grows back is a sign that she will survive the trauma she has been through.”

Close up to Tess to show her poor state

Close up of Tess shows her shocking condition (Image: Mayhew)

Tess having a bath

Bath time for Tess to treat inflamed skin (Image: Mayhew)

The statement continued: “Despite having a shaky start, Tess has started to respond to our teams’ dedication, care and attention, and now engages in gentle play and daily walks. We have worked hard to gain Tess’s trust and build up her confidence, and we will continue to stay right by her side during the weeks and months ahead.

“We anticipate that Tess will need us for some time to come, and we desperately hope she will eventually be ready to find herself a new loving home, where her trauma can be forgotten.”

The Duchess of Sussex’s announcement in January that she would become a patron of Mayhew has certainly shone a light on the charity and its good works.

At the time, Kensington Palace explained how the Duchess has long understood the connections between animals and community welfare and had supported various rescue centres in Los Angeles and went on to describe why she decided to become Mayhew's patron.

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Meghan Markle with dog during Mayhew visit

Duchess of Sussex meets terrier at Mayhew (Image: GETTY)

Meghan meets staff and dogs at Mayhew

Duchess of Sussex meets staff and dogs at Mayhew (Image: GETTY)

"Mayhew looks for innovative ways to reduce the number of animals in need through pro-active community and educational initiatives and preventative veterinary care,” said Kensington Palace.

“This includes working with homelessness charities across London to ensure people and their dogs can be kept together; running a Pet Refuge programme to provide shelter and care for the pets of people in crisis for short periods of time, and educating young people about animal welfare and the importance of responsible pet ownership.”

The Duchess later visited the Mayhew headquarters to meet staff and animals in one of her first official engagements.

To find out how you can help Tess and other animals, see