THIS beautiful brown-eyed pup has only three legs – after being kicked so hard by a previous owner one of his joints shattered.
Now trusting four-month-old border terrier-cross Ralf is looking for a loving new home – just like little Oliver the Staffie, who was found on allotments in Sheffield with a broken leg suffered in a scuffle with a bigger dog.
The two animal-amputees are being looked after by foster carers until permanent families can be found.
Jacquie Neilson, who runs Rain Rescue animal centre, said: “These dogs had horrific injuries, and we need to find them decent homes.
“What happened to them shows the cruelty of the original owners.”
Tiny Ralf was found in Maltby by a member of the public. They took him to Jacquie after first trying other animal organisations who were all ‘too overstretched’ by the sheer scale of South Yorkshire’s strays.
“We suspect Ralf must have been badly treated,” said Jacquie.
“It looked as though he had been kicked hard, which broke the joint on his leg.”
Oliver had been spotted wandering the allotments in Sheffield since last August - but had not been picked up until Jacquie’s charity stepped in to help.
Both dogs have since undergone costly operations to amputate their shattered front legs, which Rotherham-based Rain Rescue has paid for out of its own funds.
Jacquie, who runs her charity with husband Steve and a small band of volunteers, said the problem of abandoned and mistreated animals was growing year-on-year, made worse by the recession.
“We rehomed 300 dogs over the past year, which is double the number we were dealing with to begin with when we set up in 2002,” she said.
“That’s partly because we have grown - but also because there are more people abandoning pets.
“As people are struggling financially, we are finding there are growing numbers of stray dogs and cats.
“People are abandoning them particularly if they are sick or injured.”
She added: “Cats are at epidemic proportions, and one volunteer is working tirelessly trying to help them in freezing conditions by putting up makeshift shelters using scrap.
“Most of these cats are house cats that people have left behind when they move or die, and the next residents kick them out and they get pregnant.
“We should be addressing the neutering of them all to reduce this explosion.”
Jacquie said her charity is ‘desperate’ for donations to help pay vets’ bills and for the upkeep of dogs and cats in its care.
“But we are also desperate to raise the profile of the number of abandoned dogs and cats in Sheffield and surrounding areas,” she added.
Visit www.rainrescue.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, text RAIN04 (£3/£5/£10) to 70070 or call 07725 888 207.