A loving home has been found for a dog who had suffered the worst neglect seen by Dogs Trust Leeds staff in more than 30 years.
Former soldier Allan Bottomley and his wife, Sandy, knew at once that they wanted to help the six-year-old Lhaso Apso when they read about his heartbreaking ordeal.
Trooper – originally named Soldier by charity staff – was carried into the York Road rehoming centre after being found by a dog warden on the streets of Leeds in June.
He was unable to walk as his leg was fused to his ear and his fur was so overgrown and matted it had pulled off the skin around his eyes.
Allan, who lives in Halifax, said: “When we heard his story, Sandy had tears rolling down her face and I was so angry. We have had four rescue dogs in the past and we just knew we wanted to look after him and help him recover from everything he had been through.”
Trooper had to be anaesthetised so a vet could shave all off his matted fur and was on a drip for three days, receiving painkillers and treatment for his damaged skin, eyes and ears.
But he pulled through his ordeal and was ready for a new start just a few weeks later.
Dogs Trust Leeds manager Amanda Sands said: “We had an incredible number of people get in touch with us wanting to offer him a home but he needed a quiet, adult only home with patient, experienced owners who were around all the time and could help build his confidence and trust after everything he’d been through.
“Allan and Sandy ticked all the boxes and we’re absolutely delighted that he is now surround by love and all the home comforts he deserves.”
Allan added: “A dog is for life and Trooper is now definitely very much a part of our family. We can’t imagine life without him.”
Trooper now enjoys several walks a day, plays in the garden of his Halifax home, has regained weight and is generally loving life.
Allan said: “We called him Trooper as he had really been through the wars but you wouldn’t really know it to look at him now! He is marvellous.
“He is learning to play which is wonderful to see and he has really giddy moments, which is fantastic. Understandably he doesn’t like to be left on his own so there is always someone with him and he doesn’t like too much fuss, so when he wants peace and quiet he pops off to one of his two beds!
“When we went along to Dogs Trust Leeds we didn’t know if we would be the right family for him but luckily we were.”