A rescue dog found close to death and weighing just three kilograms has won a national prize in an RSPCA dog show.
Staffordshire bull terrier Buddy, whose owners live in Kibworth, is now a happy, healthy pet - and weighs more than five times his rescue weight - 17kgs.
His incredible transformation from dying dog to beloved pet saw him become t he winner of the Best Transformation category in the RSPCA competition “Ruffs”.
The nine-month-old Buddy was found by Nicola Owst, abandoned and locked in a cage in a London suburb.
He was lying in his own mess, had severe demodectic mange which turned his coat pink, and weighed just 3kgs.
Buddy couldn’t stand as the pads of his paws were so sore and because his muscles were so weak - probably a result of never having been able to move freely” Nicola said.
“I drove him 86 miles to my vets in Leicestershire, constantly checking that he was alive along the way.”
“The vet thought that Buddy had no chance of survival, but I wanted to try…”
“After lots of love and care, and visits to the vets, my little boy pulled through.
“Buddy’s skin will never fully recover due to the severe neglect, but with a special diet, good flea treatment, and a special shampoo, it has improved hugely. He now also weighs a healthy 17kgs.”
Lucky Buddy, aged around eight, now lives a healthy and happy life with Nicola and husband, Jon, in Kibworth.
“One of Buddy’s favourite things is going for outings in the car,” Nicola said.
“I’m convinced his love of the car comes from the very first day I took him from that horrible place - the car was Buddy’s escape from that horrible life.”
The RSPCA scour Britain to find the happiest and healthiest dogs of all types and backgrounds for its annual ‘Ruffs’ competition.
This year the public voted online and selected just three canine winners across the UK - one of which was Buddy.
“We think dog shows should prioritise the health, welfare and happiness of dogs over their looks and that’s why we launched our alternative competition,” said Lisa Richards, of the RSPCA.
Celebrating Buddy’s alternative dog show win, Nicola added: “Buddy is my best friend.
“A lot of people say how lucky Buddy is that I found him but really, I think I am the lucky one.”