Pandemic puppy abandoned in cage finds new home for Christmas
A skinny puppy which we believe was abandoned after becoming an unwanted lockdown pet has recovered so well that she will be moving to her forever home in time for Christmas.
The female Staffordshire Bull terrier-cross, now called Coco, was found abandoned in a cage outside a house in Balby on November 11.
A member of the public reported the matter to us and animal rescuer Inspector Sara Jordan took the severely underweight and frightened pup for urgent veterinary treatment.
Coco, who was not microchipped, was found to be severely underweight and had no muscle mass so was struggling to stand. A vet who examined her said if she had been left much longer she would not have survived.
But after two weeks in the care of Sheffield Animal Centre she had already been transformed; she has put on weight and is a much happier dog.
Now, the bundle of energy has even more reason to be happy as she has found her forever home which she will move into in time for Christmas.
Hayley Crooks, animal lead at the branch, said: "We put Coco on a special strict diet of four meals a day to help build up her weight. We also gave her an exercise plan of multiple small walks a day so as to not overdo what her little body was capable of and to build some muscle in order to support her puppy bones.
"Throughout her ordeal Coco has been nothing but amazing to her carers. She is a true Staffie and has big sloppy kisses and a wiggly bum for everyone she meets.
"We are delighted Coco has found a loving forever home as she herself has so much love to give - and am sure we will have an amazing first Christmas with her new adopters."
Chief inspector for South Yorkshire, Lynsey Harris, said her team is investigating to find the person responsible for abandoning Coco.
We believe Coco was a lockdown puppy, bought at the start of the pandemic and abandoned when they realised they couldn't take care of her. She was very underweight and under socialised as she may not have lived in a house before so the team at the branch have done a fantastic job in transforming her and we are delighted she has found her furever home.
Lynsey added: "I would urge anyone who knows who is responsible for leaving Coco alone in a cage and dumped in a street to call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018."
Abandonments have risen by around 20% this year, compared to 2020 figures and we're worried that soaring pet ownership during the pandemic could mean a surge of abandoned dogs and cats as people return to normal working life.
We launched our Christmas appeal Join the Rescue to keep our rescue teams on the road 365 days a year, saving animals like Coco from abandonment, neglect and abuse.
Chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: "After another exceptionally tough year, this Christmas, more than any, should be a time for joy and togetherness. A time to be safe inside, loved and protected from the cold.
"But for thousands of innocent animals this is sadly not the case. Cruelly treated, neglected and abandoned, many face a Christmas of continued abuse or slow starvation, without warmth or affection. We are often their only hope, so we must do whatever it takes to rescue animals who desperately need us and stop their suffering.
"This is why we're asking people to support our Christmas appeal - Join the Christmas Rescue - to help keep us out rescuing the animals who need us most."