Dog named Elf abandoned days before Xmas

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a sick dog was found dumped in Nottingham wrapped in a towel, just days before Christmas.

A member of the public found the young, female boxer-cross abandoned in Fulwood Crescent, Aspley, on Friday 17 December and took her into a local vet clinic, who alerted the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Teresa Potter, who has launched an investigation, said: “This sweet little dog has been named Elf by the staff and it’s touch and go whether she’ll make it. She was wrapped in a towel and barely able to walk when she was rushed into the clinic by a kind-hearted passerby who spotted her abandoned in the street.

“Elf is underweight and very weak; vets believe she may have a neurological issue which could also be affecting her mobility. Staff are doing their best to help her survive but at the moment we just don’t know if she’ll have the strength to pull through.”

Elf, a cross-breed who looks like a boxer-type, had no microchip or ID tag. Inspector Potter is now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

She added: “If anyone recognises Elf, knows where she may have come from, or saw anything suspicious in Fulwood Crescent on Thursday night or Friday morning please get in touch with the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

“We understand that times are tough, especially over the Christmas period, but it’s never acceptable to abandon your pet in this way, particularly if they’re sick and vulnerable. Elf needed urgent veterinary attention and, thankfully, she’s now getting that. But I’d like to urge all pet owners who may be struggling to please ask for help and never to abandon your pets in such a cruel way.”

The RSPCA fears a winter welfare crisis this year with abandonments rising after a huge spike in pet acquisition during lockdown. But with the pressures of Christmas, the knock-on effects of the pandemic, and with families now returning to school and work, we fear more animals will be relinquished to rescue centres or abandoned when their owners can no longer care for them.

Teresa added: “Animal abandonment levels have risen to almost pre-pandemic levels and we expect this winter could be even busier. Calls to our emergency rescue hotline passed pre-Covid levels for the first time in September (2021) showing a return to normality and, with it, rising concerns about the welfare of animals. Abandonments have already risen by around 20% this year, during recent months, compared to 2020.

“We fear a major welfare crisis with struggling charities left picking up the pieces; which is why we’ve launched our Join the Rescue campaign urging the public to support us so we can help animals in need.”

Elf has remained in the care of the vet clinic and they hope to rehabilitate her and rehome her directly from there.