A starving dog who weighed half of what he should have has put on so much weight in his new home that he now needs to go on a diet!
Lurcher Ollie was found staggering around a field in Stainforth, on the outskirts of Doncaster before Christmas weighing just 15.6kg - and every bone in his body was visible.
After round-the-clock care from the RSPCA, Ollie went into a foster home with Leanne Smith from Sheffield for Christmas - and stayed.
“I picked him up from the vets after five days of care and he has been here ever since!” she said.
“He is brilliant, absolutely marvellous. He’s made himself at home.”
Three-year-old Ollie is now loving life with Leanne and her two spaniels, Maggie and Willow. And his weight has continued to go up and up - perhaps a little too much!
“He weighed 16.3kg when he arrived with me and now he’s 27.9kg!” she said. “In fact, the vet told me it’s unusual to see a fat lurcher but Ollie may be the exception!
"He might need a bit of a diet as he is a little overweight - talk about one extreme to the other!
“We’ve obviously been feeding him up to get his weight up but he is also getting a lot of exercise so he is building muscle as well.
“It was horrible seeing the pictures of him when he was first rescued. I kept taking photos of him every few days to show the progress he was making. He put on 10kg in just four weeks.The difference is unbelievable.”
RSPCA inspector Jennie Ronksley launched an investigation into how Ollie came to be so neglected but, unfortunately, no one was ever found.
After fostering Ollie over Christmas it soon became clear that Leanne would be adopting him permanently. Now, the lurcher lives the life of Riley and loves long walks, playtime with his doggy pals and naps on the sofa.
“He didn’t really know how to play when he first arrived but he’s started to get the hang of it,” Leanne said. “He is definitely enjoying life now though.
“When he first arrived it was like he hadn’t run before and he had been locked away. It was like watching a baby giraffe trying to find his feet!
“He can still be nervous around men. He cowers when you pick up a stick to throw so I think he might have been beaten in the past.”
Inspector Ronksley said: “It was a happy ending for Ollie and I’m so pleased he survived his ordeal and has gone on to find such a wonderful, loving home where he will be well looked after for the rest of his life.
“It’s despicable to let a dog get into the emaciated condition Ollie was in and there is absolutely no excuse to let neglect get to that stage.
“I would urge anyone who is struggling with looking after their pet to contact vets or a local charity for help.”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing and rehabilitating dogs like Ollie please donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.