RSPCA appeal after rescuing ‘thinnest dog ever seen alive’

Eric when he arrived at RSPCA

The RSPCA are appealing for information after the ‘thinnest dog ever seen alive’ by an RSPCA inspector was found in Accrington, Lancashire. The dog, an unneutered male bull breed type with white fur and dark brown patches, was in a horrific condition, unable to stand or even lift his head.

Now named Eric by veterinary staff, he was found by a member of the public on the afternoon of Saturday 2 March.

RSPCA inspector Nina Small said,“He was in the yard of an empty council house on Ribblesdale Avenue, near to the cricket club and playing fields. The finder was walking his daughter back from a local park when he saw him, and went back to get him.

“I have made enquiries locally, but no one recognises him. He isn’t microchipped – as is required by law – and has not been reported as a stray to the dog warden, so at the moment there is no way of tracing his owner.”

Inspector Small continued, “As well as being the thinnest dog I’ve ever seen alive, he had very overgrown nails and was absolutely covered in urine. His faeces had pieces of glass and metal as big as a 50 pence piece in it, and bits of batteries. I believe poor Eric has been confined somewhere out of sight, eating whatever he’s been able to get in his mouth – perhaps a garage or a shed.

“If anyone has any information please contact me on our appeal line 0300 123 8018. I’m especially appealing for anyone with CCTV in the area to check it and see if that throws up any information. Eric did not get to this garden on his own.”

Eric was so thin when he was found that all the bones in his body were visible through his fur. Since being hospitalised for a week, Eric has been on a recovery diet and has managed to put on nearly a kilo.

Eric taking his first few steps

“He’s now able to stand and can take a few steps and it’s looking like he’s turned a corner, but he still has a long way to go. He’s just gone to a foster home where he is continuing to get the TLC he needs to hopefully continue to recover.”

Unfortunately, Eric is one of many dogs who suffer extreme neglect every day, with Staffies topping the list as breed most likely to be abused. Back in January, the RSPCA and Blue Cross came to the aid of a three-year-old Staffie that was found extremely emaciated in Grimsby.

Albert, an extremely emaciated staffie found in Grimsby on Sunday 20 January

Weighing just 8.2kg, little Albert was so skinny his spine was clearly visible and his muscles had wasted away to the point were he could no longer stand or open his mouth to eat. Describing him as a ‘little fighter’, the Blue Cross nursed him back to strengt; on Friday 15 March Albert, weighing a healthier 13.5kg, went to his forever home – where he will get his second chance at happiness.

Albert now

Images by the RSPCA 


  1. Theres something i dont understand! I read posts about neglected and injured dogs being nursed back from the brink of death! Then there are the bleak numbers telling how many healthy dogs are pts every week of the year!!


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