The RSPCA is appealing for information after a dog was found abandoned on the side of the road near Lutterworth in the middle of the night, as temperatures plummeted to below freezing.
The lurcher/saluki type dog was spotted by a passerby, shortly before 5am on Friday morning (16 February) in Cotesbach, near Lutterworth, who contacted the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Cara Gibbon rushed to Swinford Road and found the frightened and freezing dog huddled in the hedgerow.
“It was the dead of night, pitch black and absolutely freezing,” ACO Gibbon said. “My van was recording a temperature of -2C when I arrived to collect this poor dog.
“I have no idea how long he’d been there but it’s amazing, in this weather, that he was still alive, especially as his breed has such a short coat and tends to be on the lean side.
“He was curled up in the frosty grass, shivering and trying desperately to keep warm. He must have been terrified.”
The white and brown lurcher - named Dom by RSPCA staff (after skeleton athlete Dom Parsons who won Great Britain’s first medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics on the same day) - was rushed to RSPCA Newbrook Animal Hospital, in Birmingham, where veterinary staff discovered he had a fractured front leg.
“He was hobbling quite badly and his leg was swollen so he’ll need treatment for that injury,” ACO Gibbon added.
“To abandon any animal is disgusting, but to leave a dog in the dead of night during the winter, in a secluded spot like this, is horrendous. Not only was it freezing but he was badly injured and needed to see a vet urgently.
“Poor Dom must have been confused, terrified and in a lot of pain.
“He has clearly been dumped here - possibly by someone who didn’t want to get him treatment for his injury. He is in quite a poor state and was covered in urine stains.
“I’d like to hear from anyone who may recognise him, know where he’s come from or saw anyone suspicious in the area. Anyone with information which could help our investigation can call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Dom wasn’t microchipped - now a legal requirement - and was wearing no collar of identification. If he isn’t claimed then, once he’s recovered from his injury, he’ll be looking for a new home.
“Dom is a very lucky boy and I’m so pleased someone spotted him and we were able to get him to safety quickly,” ACO Gibbon said. “He is such a sweet dog and, once he’s recovered, I’m sure we’ll be able to find him a wonderful home.
“I hope he goes on to have as much success and happiness as his Olympic namesake!”