In a heartwarming turnaround, an elderly dog that was unrecognizable due to severe neglect has undergone a remarkable transformation.
The dog, named Larry, was found wandering the streets of Crewe, England, near Liverpool, earlier this month. A concerned individual brought him to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Hospital Cattery, a facility owned and operated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the largest animal welfare charity in the U.K. Larry’s past remains a mystery, but the staff suspects he endured months of neglect before being abandoned to fend for himself as a stray.
Regrettably, cases of abandonment are distressingly common in the U.K. In April alone, the RSPCA received 1,508 reports through its emergency line regarding abandoned animals, representing a 9.6 percent increase compared to the same month last year when there were 1,370 incidents. Larry’s situation was particularly harrowing.
Estimated to be around 13 years old, possibly a poodle or Maltese mix, he arrived at the hospital in such deplorable condition that the staff initially struggled to identify his breed. A significant portion of his fur had become dreadfully matted with urine and fecal matter, forming hardened “dreadlocks” around his head, tail, and feet. These matted clumps obscured his face and made movement extremely uncomfortable for poor Larry.
Thankfully, his life has taken a positive turn. Following his rescue, Larry was transferred to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where he underwent sedation for the vets to carefully remove an estimated 4 pounds of unwanted fur.
Now, under the care of the RSPCA’s Wirral Chester branch animal home in Wallasey, Larry is on the road to recovery. Kay Hawthorn, who manages the center and is currently fostering Larry, exclaimed, “His transformation has been incredible,” according to the RSPCA.
She continued, “Beneath those huge matted clumps of fur, a sweet and gentle dog has emerged, granted a new lease on life. He was struggling to move properly, and it must have been incredibly uncomfortable for him. Now he’s enjoying running around again, something he likely hasn’t been able to do in a long time. Considering his advanced years, he’s surprisingly lively.”
Though Larry remains a bit cautious when approached too closely, Hawthorn mentioned that he is showing a sociable and friendly nature among the other rescue dogs. As Larry continues his recovery, the RSPCA is appealing to anyone with information about his past to come forward.
RSPCA inspector Louise Showering remarked, “Larry was in an appalling condition. His coat resembled a pile of dirty old rags, suggesting prolonged neglect. It’s likely he was abandoned or intentionally left to stray.” She added, “His condition would have alarmed anyone who saw him, and we are immensely grateful to the kind-hearted individual who took the time to stop and ensure he received the much-needed help.”