Great Dane pup rescued after being found in ditch
An abandoned Great Dane pup found hours from death, in a ditch by one of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s canine residents is looking forward to her first Christmas after recovering with the help of dog-lover Paul O'Grady.
Viewers of ITV's Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs at Christmas will see how nine month old Faith was found starved and fighting for her life, when her story airs in the hour-long Christmas Day special of the multi-award winning series.
Faith was so weak and hidden from view in the overgrown ditch that she owes her survival to another Battersea dog Foxy.
The Akita who has been in the Home's kennels for ten months detected Faith's presence and alerted her walker, one of the charity's volunteers.
Described as one of the worst cases of emaciation and malnourishment the rescue centre’s practice has ever seen, staff believe Faith had been eating soil in the ditch to stay alive.
Instead of weighing around 40kg as would be expected for her breed, she barely tipped the scales at a pitiful 16kg and she was rushed into the charity's centre where she received emergency medical attention.
Battersea Ambassador Paul – who follows the lives of dogs that come into the world-famous rescue in the ITV show airing on Christmas day - met Faith in her kennel and used a sheep skin mitt to stroke her skeletal frame and gave her a knitted jumper as an early Christmas gift to keep her warm in the run up to Christmas.
Animal lover Paul said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Faith for the first time, it is sickening to see a dog who has been so cruelly treated, never mind the fact that it’s weeks before Christmas.
"We called her Faith because that was all she had left when Battersea found her in the ditch, and it was a miracle she was found in time.
“The time I spent with her reminded me of the on-going cruelty and neglect so many dogs have to suffer, but it made me even more determined to get her back on her feet before Christmas.
"Now she has been given best Christmas gift that money can’t buy, a new home with a loving family.”
The lucky pup has now found a home with new owner Annie Gravett on a farm in East Sussex and is on a feeding plan which is slowly but surely adding vital weight onto her body.
Kaye Mughal, from the charity, said: “Faith is an absolutely beautiful girl, who has not lost her spirit despite being so obviously neglected by her owners at such a young age.
"We care for around 450 dogs across three centres over Christmas and each of our animals is very special and unique. On Christmas day they will all be treated to a Christmas meal after a long morning walk.”
The ITV Christmas special follows the journeys of dogs staying at Battersea while they search for new homes before Christmas and will air on ITV at 5.15pm on Christmas Day.
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