The RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal after three dogs with terrible skin conditions were found by a woman on her doorstep in Walthamstow over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The animal welfare charity was called to Fyfield Road, E17, on Sunday 28 August by a resident who discovered a small pink pet carrier outside her front door with three poorly dogs crammed inside.
Inspector Mitchell Smith attended to collect the dogs. He said: “I was called to the address at around 7pm saying a cage with three puppies inside had been dumped outside their front door.
“I was half expecting to be greeted by three small, fluffy puppies but, unfortunately, it was a very different story.
“I discovered these poor dogs stuffed into the carrier – which was far too small for them, they couldn’t even turn around.
“It was difficult to identify what breeds they were due to their poor skin condition, in fact, at first impression, I thought they might even be foxes.”
The sickly dogs were rushed to the RSPCA’s Harmsworth Hospital where they were examined and discovered to be adult dogs, thought to be around two-years-old.
The dogs – who have now been named Mary, Mel and Sue after the Great British Bake Off stars – are suffering from a terrible and irritating condition called demodex – a skin mite which requires a long course of treatment and regular medicated baths to treat it. The mite can also suppress the immune system so overwhelming infections (such as this case) can result in death through secondary infections.
RSPCA veterinary director, Caroline Allen, said: “The dogs will need long-term treatment because they are in such a bad way, but will hopefully make a full recovery over time.
“They were sitting in a pool of diarrhoea when they arrived here with us. They were wet, filthy and foul-smelling.
“We bathed them and cleaned them up, started treatment for the associated skin infection, wormed them, clipped heir overgrown claws and fed them – they were very hungry.
“They have obviously been suffering for a long time as the skin is so thickened and they only have a few tufts of hair. We are not even sure what breed they are.
“We wonder if they have come from somewhere like a puppy farm, as they are all young females and don’t seem to know what a lead is.”
The RSPCA last October launched its Scrap the Puppy Trade campaign to tackle the underground trade in puppies in England. It comes after a huge increase in the number of calls to the charity’s emergency cruelty line from members of the public concerned for the welfare of dogs being used for breeding and by those who had bought sick and dying puppies.
The RSPCA is asking the public to support our campaign by signing its petition calling on the Government to introduce laws in England to combat puppy dealers.
Inspector Smith added: “Anyone with any information about how these three dogs came to end up in such a state, or who thinks they know where they have come from, can call the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
The RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal to help fund the dogs’ treatment and is asking the public to help by donating what they can online: http://www.rspca.org.uk/demodexdogs.