Abandoned puppy inspires runners
Mike Lupson from The Wirral is determined to take on the London Landmarks half marathon for animals in our care this weekend, after rehoming an abandoned puppy found in terrible conditions.
Biscuit was found in October last year in a kennel where she was discovered clutching onto her dead sisters. She was suffering from mange and was completely bald - so bald no one had any idea what kind of breed she was.
Our inspector formed an instant connection
'Biscuit' was rescued by Mike's wife, our Inspector Lisa Lupson who formed an instant connection. Being married to one of our inspectors means Mike understands the challenges of the job but it wasn't until this skinny, bald and abandoned puppy came into their lives that it really hit home.
I was a police officer previously so I was always aware of how hard the job is and the risks RSPCA officers go through but when Lisa went to the case of Biscuit and came back to tell me what she had found there - I was shocked. I couldn't deal with it. It's just so hard to get your head around how anyone could do that. I just think it's amazing all the work that the RSPCA do.
It was a horrific sight for any animal lover to see
Even after working for 12 years as one of our inspectors, Lisa explained that nothing can prepare you for some of the horrors that the role throws up and this incident, in particular, was deeply upsetting.
Lisa found a shaking and frightened dog who had been left for dead and dumped with the decomposing bodies of her sisters.
The 39-year-old mum-of-two was responding to an emergency call that a terrified dog had been found dumped in a wooden kennel - along with two dead dogs.
When Lisa managed to coax the poor animal out she was able to see just what a poor condition she was in. She had very little hair on her body due to severe mange and she was emaciated.
Even though this poor dog had been through so much suffering, she managed to wag her tail when I showed her some kindness - from that moment I knew a bond had formed.
She was absolutely terrified and shaking, which is unsurprising considering what she had been through, so I was stroking her trying to reassure her. Then I gave her a biscuit and she gave me a little tail wag. I just fell in love - she really made my heart melt.
This act inspired Lisa to name her new friend Biscuit and she continued to make regular visits to the hospital to check on the pup's progress.
Mike knew Biscuit would be coming home with them
Mike recalls that he knew it was inevitable Biscuit would be coming home with them. He said:
Even with all Lisa's experience as an inspector, seeing Biscuit in this state was still a shock to her. They really connected so she was always going to come home with us.
Five months later and Biscuit is very much a part of the family now. Mike, who works as an Operations Manager for the Ombudsman, said:
Biscuit has completely changed over the last few months. For a start, we now know she's a Spaniel-terrier cross and all her fur has grown back. She was a little wary of me at first and a lot calmer with Lisa and the kids, so we thought perhaps whoever was responsible for her abuse was a man, but over time, she has learnt to trust me and will now sleep on our bed. It's lovely to see the change in her.
The pair are now taking on a half marathon for animals in need
Mike will be taking on the half marathon challenge this month alongside his wife Lisa, although having two children means they have to take training in turns. Mike and Lisa, who live on The Wirral, have two children Olivia, six, and Thomas, eight, and their family of rescues include Biscuit, Tilly the labrador, Poppy the cat and Hagrid the hamster.
London Landmarks will be held on Sunday 24 March starting at Pall Mall and finishes in Downing Street with a fantastic route of iconic London landmarks along the way. The runners will be able to pound the pavement on the streets where the RSPCA first began - almost 200 years ago!
How you can help support fundraising for animals in our care
Find out more about this event and other fundraising challenges today.
To help support Mike's challenge, you can sponsor him via JustGiving.
The person who abandoned Biscuit and her siblings has not been traced. If you have any information or saw anything suspicious on October 9, between 6pm and 7pm in Runcorn, please call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.