Horrifying photos have been released, showing an extremely emaciated and starving dog, who had to resort to eating fragments of glass and old batteries after being abandoned.
The dog – who has been named Eric by veterinary staff – was so thin that his ribs could be seen poking through his fur and he could not stand or lift his head.
Eric’s claws were so long and overgrown that they had curled over.
‘The thinnest dog I’ve ever seen alive’
The dog was found by a member of the public in the garden of an empty council house in Accrington, Lancashire, on Saturday 2 March.
Eric was so weak when rescued that he quickly collapsed and had to be wrapped in metallic thermal blankets to keep warm.
RSPCA inspector, Nina Small, said, “As well as being the thinnest dog I’ve ever seen alive, he had very overgrown nails and was absolutely covered in urine.
“His faeces had pieces of glass and metal as big as a 50 pence piece in it, and bits of batteries.
“I believe poor Eric has been confined somewhere out of sight, eating whatever he’s been able to get in his mouth, perhaps in a garage or a shed.”
“He was in the yard of an empty council house on Ribblesdale Avenue, near to the cricket club and playing fields.
“The finder was walking his daughter back from a local park when he saw him and went back to get him.
Road to recovery
Eric, who has white fur with dark brown patches and is described as an un-neutered male bull breed type, is now on the road to recovery after having been given round-the-clock care by veterinary staff.
He was hospitalised for a week and continues to be on a recovery diet.
Small said, “He’s put on nearly a kilo.
“He’s now able to stand and can take a few steps and it’s looking like he’s turned a corner, but he still has a long way to go.
“He’s just gone to a foster home where he is continuing to get the TLC he needs to hopefully continue to recover.”
Tracing his owners
An investigation has now been launched to trace his owners.
Small added, “I have made enquiries locally, but no one recognises him.
“He isn’t microchipped – as is required by law – and has not been reported as a stray to the dog warden, so at the moment there is no way of tracing his owner.”
If anyone has any information contact the appeal line on 0300 123 8018.