ADORABLE puppy Charlie is proving he’s a little fighter - battling his way back to health after being abandoned at just 10 days old.
The 12-week-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross is being looked after by Rain Rescue, an animal charity at Wickersley, Rotherham, which took him in after workers at a council dog pound found him dumped on the street.
At Rain Rescue Charlie was wormed, given injections and a routine vets’ examination, but then came down with a bad case of kennel cough.
His weight plummeted and he was kept alive on emergency medication as volunteers gave the very poorly puppy round-the-clock care.
Now Charlie’s condition has started to improve, and the rescue is hopeful that he might soon be ready for a new home with a loving family.
Full-time volunteer Julie Lythall, who has been fostering Charlie at home, said the charity is desperate for much-needed donations to keep the rescue running and cover the cost of expensive vet bills.
“It’s a never-ending problem, but you can only do your best to try to help,” she said.
“Charlie had been in the dog pound for 10 days - he’d been dumped. He was really underweight and full of worms, in a really poor condition.
“When we got him, the vet came out and gave him a vaccination and wormed him.
“His temperature went sky-high and he was literally lifeless. We believe now that it’s a severe case of kennel cough.”
Julie, aged 35, who lives at Meadowhall and has been helping at Rain Rescue for a year, said Charlie has a ‘really sweet personality’.
“He’s a little fighter. He’s gone through injection after injection and he puts up with it. He likes to see other dogs too, but it’s been hard to judge with him being so poorly.”
“Charlie visits the vets every three days and has daily injections. He’s still severely underweight.
“ We were basically nursing him through the night when he was very ill. He was getting liquids through a syringe.”
Rain Rescue was founded by Jacquie Neilson at her home in 2002 and became a registered charity four years later.
So far this year the centre has saved the lives of over 70 dogs and cats who would have been put to sleep had they not been rescued from pounds.
“They get to a point where they’re full, and if rescues don’t go up there the dogs are put to sleep,” Julie said.
“It’s horrific, the reasons they get abandoned for - people have a baby, or get a new puppy and it doesn’t like their other dog. It’s not just mongrels either, it’s pedigrees, really lovely-natured dogs.”
The charity also recently rescued and successfully rehomed an eight-year-old Rottweiler called Kym, who was found in a house in Parson Cross eight days after her owner, an elderly man, died.
Jacquie said: “People need to stop breeding more and more dogs. Stories like Kym’s help us get over seeing dogs being destroyed because people want a puppy, not a secondhand dog. She’s now living with a fantastic family.”
But she said the rescue can’t continue without more funding.
“We used to be getting quite regular donations but now it’s pretty much dried up - I don’t know how we’re going to survive,” she said.
n To donate to Rain Rescue visit www.rainrescue.co.uk.