Two neglected puppies who were dumped in a box in woodlands are unrecognisable following their rescue and lots of TLC. Nova and Banzai were suffering from severe skin infections when they were found by a dog warden in Surrey in October.
But the German Shepherd pups have gone on to make an incredible transformation in the care of Battersea’s Old Windsor centre.
Nova and Banzai had demodectic mange – an infestation of tiny skin parasites that cause red, crusty, scaly skin and hair loss.
They were given special baths to soothe their skin and within weeks their fur had almost completely grown back.
Nova has since been adopted and her new owner says she is going from “strength to strength”.
But little Banzai is still looking for a loving forever home following his ordeal.
Hannah Gee, dog rehoming team leader at Battersea Old Windsor, said: “You can’t fail to smile whenever Banzai is around.
“He’s full of life and is highly entertaining – being a young dog means he is on the go a lot of the time, but is equally affectionate when calm and loves to curl up next to you so he can recharge for the next adventure.
“As an incredibly intelligent boy who absolutely thrives on training and learning new things, he has so much potential for any owners who are looking for a clever dog.”
Banzai is looking for a home where he will be the only dog but could live with older children.
It is feared the two pups were abandoned as their previous owner was unable to afford to take them to the vets for treatment due to the cost of living crisis.
Battersea Old Windsor’s rehoming and welfare manager Tracey Curren said: “With household finances continuing to be squeezed, we understand many pet owners may be concerned about how to meet their pets’ needs, whilst also sticking to budgets.
“Whilst in this particular case we were never able to speak to the owners, we suspect increasing financial pressures are why growing numbers of animals like Nova and Banzai are being abandoned.
“While we understand the difficult decisions owners may be facing, we’d urge everyone to not abandon their pets in public places.
“Not only is it stress-inducing for the animal, but not having any prior information on their background makes it much more difficult for rescues like Battersea to administer the initial care they may need.”
It comes as the number of dogs brought into Battersea by owners who said they could no longer afford to keep them or pay vets bill reached 15 percent in November.
Ms Curren added: “Fortunately there are a number of organisations that offer discounted or free veterinary services for people on low incomes, so if you’re struggling to afford the costs, look online to see what support may be available in your area, or speak to your local vet for guidance.”
Find out more about Banzai and Battersea’s other dogs for adoption here.