Maple’s amazing rescue


On November 18, staff at the Liverpool branch of Freshfields Animal Rescue were left reeling over the horrific condition of an injured puppy that was brought to our door. Although we were told the puppy had been found in the street, her injuries pointed strongly to her having been subjected to severe, sustained cruelty and abuse. We named her Maple, for the sweet girl that we knew she would become.

Maple had sustained horrendous injuries and upon further examination, our vet believed boiling water had been poured over her.
She was covered in wounds consistent with untreated scald burns. Her ears were torn and bleeding and she showed obvious signs of malnourishment.

Dawn Hurst, Operations Manager at Freshfields, said, “It was heart-breaking to witness the terrible state of this defenceless puppy. We wanted to shower Maple with love and attention and to make her feel safe! At first, Maple was not able to accept that from us, such was her physical trauma. Our vet estimated her to be around six months old, and Maple should have been displaying typical, confident puppy behaviour, instead, she spent days sleeping, physically and mentally exhausted by the trauma she had endured. She didn’t make a sound.

“We can’t begin to imagine what this poor little girl has been through in her short life. Her physical abuse is obvious; her mental scars may run deeper than we will ever know.

“Over the last three months, we’ve taken it day by day and sometimes hour by hour, to give Maple the intensive love and care she needs. We’ve seen great progress – her personality has come through and she loves playing with her favourite toy crinkly dinosaur.”

Maple is now very good friends with our vet, Svenia Krause, who has been treating her up to four times a day. Svenia said, “After the initial speedy healing of her burns Maple was left with two areas that just wouldn’t heal. One was between her shoulder blades and the other was on her head, near the left ear. We tried everything, including a rather stylish surgical T-shirt.”

Maple has now had surgery to remove the badly damaged tissue, and also laser treatment on the wounds. Currently, she is in a foster home with other dogs and cats. She will now happily curl up and sleep with the other animals, accepting comfort and companionship from them. We are in awe of this little dog’s courage. She has come a long way, and is now ready to be rehomed. We need a home for Maple as special as she is.

Dawn continued, “Given everything she’s gone through, we are looking for an experienced owner who can help Maple to settle in a home environment, and everything that will entail. Maple can still become fearful at times, so we’re looking for an adult only home for her where any children are over the age of 16.”

She doesn’t quite understand how to behave and won’t be suitable to live with elderly or small-breed dogs. Maple isn’t fond of cats, but we will not rule out an experienced home with cats that are confident enough to handle her personality!

She will need a home with someone around during the day as she will need to be given regular opportunities to go to the toilet. Maple hasn’t had the exercise she should for a dog of her age so sometimes has crazy outbursts of energy! She does a bit of rough play; she doesn’t mean any harm but it will need to be managed.

Most of the time Maple is a very calm, placid girl who enjoys snuggles. She loves to be sat on your lap on the sofa so we are looking for a very understanding home where she will not be restricted from the furniture despite her occasional toileting accidents!
For Maple, ‘life’ started the day she came into Freshfields care, and now we want to find her a loving, understanding owner who is just as special as she is.

This is a guest essay by Debbie Hughes. Want to write for us? Visit or email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here