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Oliver Twist wants to become one of the family

Starved dog given a Dickens name because he loved food glorious food

A starving dog dubbed Oliver Twist because he yowled for more food is looking for a new home.

The emaciated boxer cross was rescued by the RSPCA after he was tied to tree in a graveyard in Leyton, East London.

He was taken to the charity’s Harmsworth Animal Hospital, where staff discovered he weighed 17.8kg about half the ideal weight of a dog his size.

Vicky Coleman, dispensary supervisor at Harmsworth, said: “I have never seen a dog so skinny, it was absolutely horrendous.”
“I’ve seen some terrible things but I’ve never seen a dog so thin. He was like a walking skeleton.

“You could see all his bones and he’d lost the muscle tone in his head because he was so emaciated. He was absolutely riddled with fleas and had a wound on his back leg, we think where he’d tried to escape after being tied up”
The friendly pooch quickly earned his new name, Oliver Twist, as he would lick his bowl clean and then yowl and bark for more.

Vicky said: “We were giving him four small meals a day to build his weight back safely. Whenever he’d finished he’d yowl or bark as if he was asking for more, the name Oliver Twist seemed really fitting.

“Despite everything he’d been through he’s such a lovely friendly dog, he was a real favourite among the nurse and he got given lots of treats.”

Over six weeks Oliver’s put on more than 10 kilos and moved to RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent to be rehomed.

Jacqueline Kaye, animal centre supervisor, said Oliver is thought to be about four or five-years-old, is full of beans and needs an active home where he’ll get lots of exercise.

She said: “He had such a terrible time but he looks like a million dollars now.

“He needs a home with people who are used to handling bigger dogs and where he will get lots of long walks.

“He’s got a lovely nature and is very boisterous and bouncy so he needs a family who can keep up with him.

“Oliver has got all his basic training skills but would like to continue learning more in his new home.”

Anyone interested in giving Oliver a new home can contact RSPCA Leybourne to find out more on 0300 123 0751 or email

Oliver was discovered tied to a tree with a computer cable at the back of St Mary’s Church in Church Road, Leyton on October 21 last year. He was not microchipped and we have been unable to trace his owners.

Anyone with information about who dumped him can contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 1232018.


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