“Walking skeleton” turns into happy, healthy dog

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Flo was described as a walking skeleton upon her rescue

A Saluki cross called Flo was described as a “walking skeleton” when she was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm in March 2021. A year on, she is unrecongnizable – and living the best life.

Flo was one of 21 dogs rescued from a site in South Wales following a South Wales Police warrant, and taken in by the RSPCA.

“When Flo arrived she was little more than skin and bone; she looked like a walking skeleton”

RSPCA Inspector Gemma Cooper said, “I was horrified by the animal’s overall health and the environments in which they were being kept. It also appeared that a small-scale puppy farm was being run from this location.

“The conditions they were kept in were not acceptable and the owners were failing to meet their needs. One pen for example – which had eight dogs in – had no space for them to get away from each other, had no comfortable area for them to rest and was full of urine and faeces.”

Flo was described as a walking skeleton

Inspector Cooper added, “It was clear from their reactions that they have not been properly socialised and spent the majority of their time locked up in these pens and away from life.”

Flo spent five months at the RSPCA’s West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset. West Hatch deputy manager Anita Clark said, “When Flo arrived she was little more than skin and bone; she looked like a walking skeleton. It was a pitiful sight. She was suffering from mange with sores and cuts all over her body.”

“It didn’t take long for her to win over a new heart and she soon left for her forever home”

“We immediately put her on pain relief, treated her ear mites and gave her weekly medicated baths to soothe her skin. When she was strong enough, she had a dental to clean her bad teeth too.

“Flo was subdued, scared and in pain when she arrived. It was late when the dogs arrived and we carried them all to their kennels; they cowered in the corner, shocked to be in an unfamiliar place with people they didn’t know. But they had heat lamps to keep them warm and cosy beds to curl up in; probably for the first time in their lives.”

“It was obvious from the start, despite her initial fear, that Flo was playful and loved people. Even though she was weak, she picked up a ragger toy and tried to play. And she loved cuddles!

“With careful monitoring and lots of TLC she went from strength-to-strength and her personality shone through a little more with every day that passed. It didn’t take long for her to win over a new heart and she soon left for her forever home.”

Flo’s new home is with Danielle Tuagalu and her partner Rupert Forrester, from Plymouth, Devon. No longer resembling a “walking skeleton”, Flo has settled well and, according to Danielle, it’s “like she was always meant to be here”.

“She instantly claimed our largest couch for herself but is kind enough to share it with us!” Danielle said. “She has the fluffiest ears and tail, she loves cuddles, sleeping on the couch – ignoring the three beds we bought for her. She also loves sand dunes, treats, toys and meeting other dogs and humans – big and little alike!

“She also loves road trips and we’ve had lovely holidays with her; she even had her first adventure travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats!”

“Her transformation is just amazing”

Inspector Cooper added, “When I first saw Flo she was extremely underweight and cowered in the corner. Her ribs and spine were visible and she looked pink where she had fur loss and her skin was red and inflamed.

“I am delighted that Flo found her forever home – her transformation is just amazing.”

Images by RSPCA

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