Traumatised dog who was 'tortured' in Chorley gets fresh start

The nation was horrified when video footage emerged of a man chasing his terrified dog around the garden with a piece of wood.

But now, not only has the dogue de bordeaux found a loving new family to join, she is also giving back to the people who gave her a second chance.

Ellie has settled into her new Preston home

Ellie has settled into her new Preston home

When the 18-month-old traumatised dogue de bordeaux came into RSPCA Preston’s care, staff were worried they would struggle to find the dog a new home.

Animal care assistant Georgie Meek said: “When she first arrived she was very, very nervous, very wary of new people, and didn’t like strangers. When meeting someone new she’d slink right to the floor and approach really, really slowly.”

Unsurprisingly, following her ordeal, Narla was terrified of people - particularly men.

Narla - now named Ellie - was seized by the police and placed into RSPCA care. The animal welfare charity also prosecuted her previous owner, who was filmed chasing her around the garden.

Ellie with new owners, Angela and Martin Hickson

Ellie with new owners, Angela and Martin Hickson

Inspector Helen Smith said: “The man was coming at her with a big piece of wood and the she’s absolutely petrified. And she had absolutely nowhere to go because the garden’s surrounded with a 6ft fence.

“It’s mental torture, even if he didn’t make contact with the dog with this big piece of wood. Hearing her scream and him chasing her, it’s just awful, it just makes me feel sick and really angry.”

But, with a lot of time and dedication from staff, Narla’s confidence slowly grew. And she was soon ready to go off to her new home - with a couple from nearby Fulwood, in Lancashire.

New owners, Angela and Martin Hickson, couldn’t be happier to have her with them.

“I can’t tell you how much we love her,” Angela said, “we can’t imagine life without her now.

“If someone new comes into the house then she can still be a little nervous at first, but she’s come on leaps and bounds.”

And Ellie - is even comfortable about Martin.

“She loves him to bits. She follows him around like a 10 o’clock shadow and she cries for him when he goes to work,” Angela explained.

But what’s incredible is the impact Ellie has had on Angela’s life.

“She’s made me so happy,” Angela, who is disabled and suffers from agoraphobia, added: “She has really helped me.”

In fact, the gentle giant has helped Angela get out of the house and she often joins her husband and their loyal pooch for short local walks.

Ellie previous owner, from Chorley, Lancashire, was taken to court by the RSPCA. He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and was disqualified from keeping dogs for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine and costs.

Ellie is one of 8,009 dogs rescued by the RSPCA last year - that’s nearly one every hour.

She is due to star on the small screen in the Channel 5 Dog Rescuers show presented by Alan Davies. He said: “The Dog Rescuers goes behind the scenes to see the RSPCA at work rescuing dogs from neglect and abuse.

“It's sad to see dogs suffering but always a joy when they are nursed back to health and find loving new homes.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).