A dog who was left tied to a fence in the cold and rain in Kent in the New Year will be spending his first Christmas with his loving new family.
George was found on January 8 after he was left outside the RSPCA Medway West Branch centre in Chatham - which was closed at the time.
He was found by a kind-hearted member of the public who rescued him and took him to a local vet.
George was cared for by vet staff who examined him and advised he was underweight and suffering from a severe flea allergy. The RSPCA was contacted and collected George and so began his long road to recovery - which included lots of medicated baths, and plenty of TLC.
George was cared for by staff at Leybourne Animal Centre who treated his skin condition and then worked with him to get him ready to be rehomed.
Lucky George soon found the right owner - with Gretta and Sal Schifano and their family, from Surrey - who had initially been looking at another dog but were told by Leybourne that they felt George could be the perfect match for them.
Gretta and the family had lost their beloved pet dog Bluebell the previous year and also one of their rescue cats - and with them being such a huge part of the family they felt they had a void they wanted to fill.
As Gretta was looking to rehome during lockdown - the first time they met George was when he came to their home in April this year.
They had spent a lot of time speaking to the staff at Leybourne who carried out virtual home visits and chats about George.
Gretta said: “It was a very special day for us when George came home - he really is the friendliest dog you could meet and everyone just adores him. He’s a real character and just such a friendly, happy, positive, bouncy boy and he loves his doggie frisbee!
“As he was abandoned not much was known about his past life - but when he first came home he wouldn’t go upstairs - he just didn’t seem to understand them - so we are not sure if he had lived in a house before.
Gretta said: “George just wants to be friends with everyone - he can see foxes from our garden and even wags his tail in the hope they will be his friend! He loves watching them.
“George just loves to be out on his walks and he had such boundless enthusiasm to greet everyone that we had to work with him to keep him calm while out on walks as he just wanted to greet everyone and jump up to them to get a cuddle!
“But we were in contact with the staff at Leybourne who were great and gave us advice and support and I also did a lot of reading up on recall for dogs.
“We are just so happy to have George as part of our family and we are looking forward to our first Christmas with him.”
Despite an investigation, no one was ever traced in connection with George’s case.
RSPCA Inspector Kirsten Ormerod said: “I remember George so well - he had just been left tied up to a fence on a day when it was so cold and it was pouring with rain. We were so grateful to the member of the public who found him and went above and beyond to ensure he was taken to a safe place.
“George found a special place in my heart because despite his terrible ordeal he was one one of the sweetest and friendliest dogs i’ve ever met. He just adored a cuddle.
“I'm so happy that he has found such a loving new home and that he’s got a family to call his own.
“This is why we do our job - to help animals and there’s no better feeling when you know that the animal you have helped has gone on to have a wonderful life and second chance. I am sure George will have his best Christmas ever with his wonderful new family.”
To Join the Christmas Rescue and help our rescuers be there for the animals in need this winter, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/rescuexmas.