A Shih Tzu so tangled up in her neglected coat that she couldn't move without pain has been given her freedom. Olive was handed in to the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, Hertfordshire, in January 2016, after she was found hiding behind a pallet of bricks on a building site.
RSPCA Inspector Stephanie Law said, “When I saw Olive for the first time I was really, really upset. Her coat was really badly matted and she had terrible infections in her eyes and ears.
“She just looked a complete state, she wouldn’t move, she looked so bad, I haven’t seen a dog look that bad and still be alive to be honest.
“She’d yelp in pain when you tried to move her head and you could tell she was in such discomfort I just felt really, really sorry for her. The fact someone could just leave her in that state, it really upset me.”
Olive was fostered by the vet nurse Emily Brown, settling in so well with Emily’s other dog, 15-year-old shih tzu cross Benji, that Emily become a 'failed fosterer'.
She said, “She looks like a little old lady. No offence to any Bettys out there but we just wanted to give her a little old lady name, so we called her Betty.
“I knew I wanted her straight away. She was just broken, she seemed exhausted, the things she must have gone through. I just knew she had to come home with me.
“Slowly over time you could see her character coming back, she was starting to trust us all.”
She added, "She’s just perfect, I don’t know how anyone could have treated her the way they did. She’s just incredible."
Sadly, no one could be traced in Betty's cruelty case, but she couldn't be in a better new home. Betty's story will feature on Channel 5's The Dog Rescuers at 8pm on Tuesday 4 July. See a snippet of this below: