FeaturesWagging Tales

A dog whose fur was so matted his leg was fused to his ear and his skin pulled off from around his eyes is on the road to recovery and in need of a loving home.

Staff at Dogs Trust Leeds were horrified when the stray, who they called Soldier when they realised what a ‘little fighter’ he was, was carried into the centre.

Amanda Sands, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Leeds, says:

“It is the worst case of neglect I have had the misfortune of seeing in my 30 years of working here. He was unrecognisable as a dog or living being. It was so distressing; he must have been in considerable pain. Nothing prepares you for seeing something like this.”

The Lhasa Apso, who the team believe to be around six years of age, was immediately rushed to the vet where he had to be anaesthetised to have his filthy, matted fur completely shaved off.

He had been found unable to walk on the streets of Leeds and was brought to the rehoming centre by the dog warden. Following a three-day stay at the vets where he was on a drip and given pain relief and treatment for his damaged skin and eyes, he was fostered by one of Dogs Trust’s foster carers and has been enjoying endless supplies of much needed TLC.

Amanda says: “We didn’t know if he’d pull through but he really is a little fighter! He started to gain strength quite quickly so once he was well enough to leave the vets we thought the best place for him was in a home with one of our experienced foster carers. With lots of love and continuing treatment he has come on leaps and bounds.

“His eyesight has been damaged but is improving and he is of course a lot happier now, not least because he can walk after the removal of his fur which had fused his ear and leg together.

“Understandably he can be a little anxious and at the moment is scared of doors being shut and being in a room on his own, which indicates what has happened to him previously which is very sad, but other than that he is doing really well and deserves to find a wonderful home.”

Soldier is looking for a quiet adult only home with patient owners who will help him enjoy everything the world has to offer.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said:

“Our inspectors followed up several lines of enquiry and are still appealing for anyone with information about where little Soldier came from to get in touch by calling us on 0300 123 8018.”

If you think you could give Soldier the loving home he deserves, please call the centre on 0300 303 0292. You can also find out more at

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