A dog left to die in an alleyway on Christmas Day is starting a new life with a loving family in Leyland.
Hope, a female American bulldog type, was found collapsed and extremely emaciated by a RSPCA inspector in Accrington.
After a week undergoing urgent care at a nearby vets, the two-year-old was taken in by staff at RSPCA Preston & District Branch animal centre.
Inspector Karen Chisholm said: “It didn’t look like Hope would make it.
“She was in a dreadful state when I picked her up and it looked like the vet would need to put her to sleep to end her suffering.
“I’ve never seen a dog so thin that was still alive. I’d describe whoever did this to her, then dumped her on Christmas morning, as extremely callous and cruel.
“It has taken lots of TLC but I’m so thrilled to say that, thanks to RSPCA Preston & District Branch, she’s now found a great new home.”
Hope has become the treasured pet of Gareth Meares, 45, of Parish Gardens, his girlfriend Justina McFaulds, 40, and her 12-year-old son Magnus.
Gareth said: “I was interested in rescuing an animal rather than going to a breeder. So I decided we would go and look at what dogs were at the RSPCA centre in Preston.
“Hope was ideal because I was looking for a young dog but not a puppy and a bigger dog and she clearly needed a home because she had been so badly treated.
“She has a hip condition that means she will need medical care forever and may have eventual arthritis problems.
“But I didn’t let the medical costs put me off because she was such a lovely dog with such a lovely nature.
“To see her four months later, running and bounding and playing with our little shih tzu Cody and happy, and with no apparent emotional scars from being so badly treated and so close to death, and to have come back and still be a good natured dog, friendly, calm, quiet and very affectionate, means so much.
“It’s only been a few days but she is settling in well. We’re a perfect match really and I guess you might say it was meant to be.”