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Bulldog Bruce goes from burned to beloved

A terrified and injured French Bulldog who was found dumped with horrific untreated burns across his body has made an amazing recovery from his ordeal and is now loving life in his forever home.

Poor Bruce, aged 8, was taken into the RSPCA Preston and district branch by a woman who said she found the pet dumped and shivering in a bush near a park in the Thorpe Lane area of Preston, Lancashire, on February 18.

Branch staff rushed him to a vets for emergency treatment for his painful burns across his back which they think had occured two to three weeks earlier and he was left untreated and in pain throughout that time.

RSPCA inspector Emma Dingley immediately launched an investigation to try and trace the person responsible and the inquiry is on-going.

Meanwhile, Bruce spent three months in the care of the RSPCA and - as he struggled in kennels - he spent most of his time helping out in reception where the sociable boy enjoyed lots of cuddles and attention from staff.

To get him ready for his forever home Bruce was initially fostered by Jack Brennan and wife Angharad (both 27), of Leyland, Lancashire, but the couple soon decided to adopt the friendly pooch.

Sadly, Bruce is one of so many dogs who suffer at the hands of humans and as part of the RSPCA’s Cancel Out Cruelty fund-raising campaign, the charity highlights that despite being man’s best friend a staggering 44,427 reports of dog cruelty were made to the RSPCA involving 92,244 dogs last year or more than 10 AN HOUR*. To continue to rescue more dogs like Bruce the charity is appealing for the public to support them.

Angharad, a marketing assistant, said: “I am a life-long dog lover and grew up with them as a child and really wanted to be a dog owner again. But Jack has never had a dog before and was worried about the commitment of taking one on so we decided to foster as a compromise.

“Jack works from home as a software developer so has time to care for a pet in the home so we approached the branch who matched us with Bruce. We never thought for a moment we would adopt the first dog we fostered - but we just fell for him!

“Bruce settled in straightaway and Jack really loves having Bruce as company while working from home and we both love taking him for walks, training him and getting doggy cuddles!

“Despite his history, Bruce is so loving and trusting of all people. He is always eager to greet new people and get strokes and cuddles

“He loves going for walks in our local park, and he is learning new commands with consistent training. We are also slowly encouraging him to play with toys, as it seems that this is something he has sadly not had much experience with.

“He is slowly getting to grips with chasing after balls and toys that we throw for him and gets excited - but he hasn’t quite got the hang of bringing them back yet !”

Bruce underwent further treatment while in foster care with an operation to remove the scar tissue from his back as his fur was not growing in the injured area and it could easily get scratched or sunburned.

The RSPCA branch financed this treatment and his fur is now growing back in that area so it is hoped Bruce’s injuries will fully heal.

Angharad added: “Fostering and adopting Bruce has been such a positive and rewarding experience, and we are so grateful to all the RSPCA - thanks to them Bruce is now one very lucky boy - which is why we wholeheartedly support their campaign to Cancel Out Cruelty.”

Tanay Barrett, branch administrator at Preston, said: “When Bruce arrived he was rushed straight to the vets where he was sedated so he could have his fur clipped and his extensive and infected wounds cleaned.

“He was given pain relief and tablets to combat the infection and had cream applied to his wounds on a daily basis.

“The vet said that the infection suggested the wounds were about two to three weeks old - so he must have been suffering horrendously during that time. Bruce was also found to have an old scar on his right hind leg from an older injury.

“He was given a further operation to remove scar tissue and it is hoped his fur will grow back and he will look as good as new.

“He is such a loveable and friendly dog you wouldn’t know he has endured such a traumatic experience.

“Bruce stole our hearts and all the staff were very soft on him and he stayed in reception with them during the day - where he demanded cuddles and would stare at you if you stopped fussing with him.”

Emma is still keen to find out what happened to Bruce and anyone with further information which may help the charity’s investigation is asked to call the RSPCA's appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA is worried more dogs will fall victim to abuse and abandonments due to a big rise in pet ownership since the pandemic and also as the cost of living crisis takes hold adding financial pressures to pet owners.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer said: “It is incredibly worrying that still in 2022 we are seeing this high level of cruelty towards animals.

“We’ve seen a rise in reports of beatings and with the increase in pet ownership and financial pressures growing we are sadly braced for a summer of suffering which is why we are calling on the public to help us Cancel Out Cruelty and help more animals like Bruce.”

The RSPCA’s rescue teams need support to stay out on the frontline as the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty.

• £6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day in our care
• £10 could help pay towards bandages for a cat or dog
• £15 could help pay for a cat or dog’s clinical exam
• £20 could help pay towards a bird catching kit
• £30 could help pay for a life jacket for an inspector
• £100 could help pay towards water rescue equipment
• £500 could kit out a 4x4 inspector van

Our frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but we can't do it alone - we need your help to Cancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty.

If you cannot donate, there are other ways you can help Cancel Out Cruelty, from volunteering with the RSPCA, holding a bake sale or fundraiser, or taking part in the #50MilesForAnimals challenge.

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