Badly burned dog makes incredible transformation
A dog suffered second-degree burns and was left for 10 days without veterinary treatment because his owner said he couldn't afford it over Christmas.
Three-year-old Samson came into our care just two days after Christmas in 2019 after an incident in which he was burned by hot water and his owner failed to get him veterinary attention until a social worker intervened 10 days later.
Now, two years on, Sam's scars have finally healed and, thanks to his new family, he's learned that Christmas can be a magical time.
The mastiff cross was adopted by the Bushaway family, from Baldock, in Hertfordshire, in August 2020 after they lost their Rottweiler the previous year. Lee and Paul, and their three children, had been looking to adopt a rescue dog for sometime after missing their late dog.
"The house just didn't feel the same without a dog," Lee said. "We spotted Sam's photo and thought he looked lovely. We applied and, within just a few hours, we'd spoken to his carers on the phone and had a video call with the team."
The family went to visit Samson the following day and brought him home with them. Thankfully Sam's physical scars healed thanks to expert vet care and dedicated rehabilitation by our teams.
Inspector Lauren Bailey, who investigated his case, said: "Samson was taken for immediate vet care for severe burns and a secondary infection which must have been incredibly painful. His owner said he couldn't afford to take Samson for treatment because it was Christmas and he had no money left, and agreed to sign him over.
"Samson was treated for weeks as he had extensive scalding to his right ear, head, neck, shoulders and back. He cried when he was touched and would shake his head repeatedly. He received pain relief and antibiotics before going under anesthetic to have his wounds cleaned. Once the wounds had been cleaned and his fur had been clipped back I was shocked at the extent of the burns."
Our rescuers will be out helping animals in need this Christmas and fear that the rise in pet ownership during the pandemic and pets bought on impulse will result in more animals being neglected this year. We're urging people to Join the Christmas Rescue to help us be there to respond to emergencies while everyone else is unwrapping presents under the tree or tucking into a festive meal.
Sam loves life with his new family and now looks forward to Christmas
Samson had suffered first to second-degree burns and vets confirmed that he'd have been suffering since the boiling water was spilled on him until he was taken to the vets; 10 days in total. He received initial treatment and was then moved to our London hospital for ongoing treatment before being transferred to Blackberry Farm Animal Centre, in Buckinghamshire, for rehabilitation and rehoming.
Although he still has some fears and anxieties, the four-year-old has learned to trust again.
Lee said: "He has settled in really well and is such a character; everyone loves him. He loves being with people and is very playful - he'll play fetch for hours! My youngest son, Jason, 23, absolutely dotes on him but he's a real mummy's boy at heart. He's so loving and affectionate, and he follows me everywhere!
"In the evenings I curl up on the sofa under a blanket and have to make sure there's enough on the floor next to me for him to curl up and sleep on even though he has his own snuggly blanket in his bed!
"He struggles with other dogs he doesn't know so we take him for long walks in the countryside where he won't bump into others. He does have some friends he's made in the local area, like Labrador Aero, and they love to run and play in the garden."
The family is now looking forward to their second Christmas with Sam.
Lee added: "We really weren't sure how Sam would react on his first Christmas with us, especially as his incident happened over Christmas. We didn't know if the tree and decorations would remind him of the trauma, and there are still times where we can see that what happened did have a mental impact on him. But to look at Sam now you really wouldn't know what he's been through.
I absolutely love Christmas and go all out every year so I'm really glad that he now knows that Christmas can be a truly magical time.
"This year he'll get to open all of his presents while we open ours and then we'll go for a nice long walk," Lee said. "He can have a special Christmas dinner while we eat and then we'll all cuddle on the sofa and watch festive films. He will definitely get spoiled but he really deserves it."