A very thirsty dog was found with his ribs poking out after being left to die on the streets of Dagenham last week. After being found in the Heathway on Wednesday night (April 13), Soldier refused to eat but lapped up bowls of water instead. “All he wanted to do Wednesday night was drink and drink and drink,” rescuers said.
Staff at Wanderers Haven Animal Sanctuary in Upminster first named the bull breed Old Boy because of his age, but have since opted for Soldier because “he’s been through the wars”. At just 19.2kg when he came in, Wanderers manager Chris Common, 32, reckoned he was 10kg too light. Soldier is now eating again and vets will keep an eye on his weight.
After finding him near some bins two members of the public asked if anyone knew who the owner was before deciding to drive him to safety. Chris, from Upminster, told MyLondon they were still considering putting him down, but wanted to give Soldier the best chance of living. He’s on antibiotics and his carers will “just take it slow and take it as it comes”.
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Speaking about Soldier’s condition, Chris said: “He’s in a state. It’s very sad. He is certainly at the top with the worst ones. He should not look the way he does with all those urine stains. The smell was so bad. That has not happened over night, that has happened over months. He should be a white dog. He’s just been laying in his own urine. “
One reason for his stains is his UTI which leaves him constantly dripping “foul smelling” urine. He also has chronic kidney disease. Rescuers added: “Kidney disease can cause weight loss but his values (although high on his bloods) would not necessarily suggest the only cause for his weight loss. Neglect and other illness on top we think would be more the cause. He is also deaf and does not hang on to his poos for long. “
Addressing neglectful dog owners, Chris said: “There’s help out there. There’s no excuse to let a dog get into that state. There are charities that would help and step in, otherwise it is neglect.” Since Wednesday Chris said Soldier’s condition had improved slightly, “he was very very quiet when he came in”. Now he’s “perkier” and “loves to potter about”.
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