This Christmas is certainly going to look very different for rescue pup Gigi now her life has been transformed by RSPCA Cymru following her rescue from a property in South West Wales earlier this year.
The 11-month-old chocolate Labrador was grossly overweight when she was found with more than 200 breeding bitches, stud dogs and newborn puppies, including Bichon Frises, Shihtzus, Cockapoos, Cavaliers, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels.
Following a Trading Standards led investigation, 66 dogs subsequently came into the care of the RSPCA and went to several of the charity’s rehoming centres. Llys Nini Animal Centre in Swansea took in Gigi and 15 other dogs and it wasn’t long before Jack Davies, an animal care assistant there, realised she would make an ideal companion for his family’s other dog, a 16-month-old silver Labrador called Bryn.
Jack said: “Gigi was very overweight and we suspect she was probably being fattened up to breed from. She could only manage very short walks at first and then she’d just lie down absolutely exhausted. With the right food and daily exercise, the weight has come off fairly quickly and she’s a much healthier size now.”
“Despite her past, she’s a very sweet-natured dog and is always pleased to see people. She loves Bryn – who also came from a puppy farm – and you often find them snuggled up on a chair together. They get up to lots of mischief, you can’t turn your back for too long before the pair of them are off doing something they shouldn’t! It’s amazing to see her happy and healthy after everything she has been through.”
Some of the dogs and puppies that arrived with Gigi were found to have an intestinal infection and needed weeks of treatment before they could be rehomed. Unlike Gigi, many were nervous and needed patient and gentle handling.
RSPCA inspector Holly Brown, who helped to transport the dogs from the property, said: “It’s wonderful to see how Gigi’s life has been completely transformed. I remember her very vividly, partly because she was so huge – despite only being eight months old at the time – but also because she was just so friendly and wanted nothing more than a fuss and a cuddle.
“This Christmas she’s in a wonderful home, surrounded by people who are going to care for her and put her needs first, just the way it should be.”