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Rescue dog helped his new owner through cancer



Ravi was so emaciated when we rescued him that he was on the brink of death. But he’s gone on to be a lifesaver for his new owner during her battle with cancer.

Gayle Fountain, who adopted Ravi from us with her husband Steve, said the loving pooch was ‘sent from heaven’ to help her through her battle with Lymphoma.

Despite his own horrific start in life, his new owner says that the Mastiff-Ridgeback crossbreed is the most loving of pets, and came into her life at exactly the right time following her diagnosis.

A horrific start to life


Ravi (then named Rex) was in a terrible state when our inspectors first found him collapsed and severely neglected at an address in Edmonton, North London last year (2016).

We were called with concerns in early December about Ravi, and when inspectors arrived they were faced with a shocking discovery – Ravi had been starved to the brink of death.

Just a bag of bones, he was rushed straight to the our Harmsworth Animal Hospital. Fortunately, it was just in time.

Ravi's recovery

Inspector Samantha Durrant, who rescued Ravi, said:

You could see every bone in Ravi’s body and he could not even raise his head or stand up unless we lifted him. I have no doubt he was on the brink of death - another day or so and I don’t think it would have been the happy ending it was.

It's difficult to know for sure what happened, but all the evidence points to Ravi simply having been left in a room and forgotten about for a couple of months. As well as being starved, his nails were overgrown which means he probably wasn’t walked.

Thanks to the amazing care he had at Harmsworth, though, he was up on his feet within a few weeks.

We all cried when he went to his new home with Steve and Gayle. It was so wonderful to see how his life had transformed. A reminder of why we get up every day and do our jobs.

Ravi’s fresh start


Gayle and Steve, who live in Hertfordshire, heard about Ravi through Inspector Durrant, with whom they are good friends. Gayle was diagnosed with Lymphoma in the spring of last year, and had been through a particularly challenging time before Christmas. But meeting Ravi at the beginning of this year saw a turning point in her recovery.

Now in remission from her condition, Gayle said:

I felt like the luckiest person in the world when I got Ravi – which means sun. It was like he was sent from heaven. When I heard what he had been through and I met him for the first time I felt an instant connection with him, he needed me to love him and care for him, and my goodness, I needed him.

Now he bounces about loving life, playing with my grandchildren and godchildren. But he also knows when to sit quietly with me and cuddle, it’s just his instinct. He’s very special. His favourite sleeping position is flat on his back, he looks hilarious.

Help dogs like Ravi

Viewers will see the first part of Ravi’s journey on Tuesday’s Dog Rescuers on Channel 5.

Ravi is one of 8,009 dogs we rescued last year – that’s nearly one every hour.

To help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate through our website, or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

To rehome a dog like Ravi, search the dogs currently in our care for your perfect match.

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