Once Patterdale terrier pup Elfie went home with RSPCA officer Heather Cook it was clear he’d never be leaving…!
Parts of England were submerged in snowdrifts and in other corners of the country the temperature had dropped to -13C. So when a tiny six-week-old terrier puppy was found dumped in a cardboard box in Manchester it was a miracle the vulnerable baby had survived.
Patterdale terrier pup Elfie was shivering when he was found by a woman who was walking to the shop on 12 December, just weeks before Christmas.
The woman found little Elfie huddled under a blanket, barely able to keep himself warm. She put him inside her warm coat and rushed him home before calling the RSPCA for help.
Animal collection officer (ACO) Heather Cook collected the little puppy and took him to a vet for a check-up. As it was late, she took him home to Worsley for the evening, and agreed she would wean him so he could go up for rehoming as soon as possible.
“It was bitterly cold and icy,” ACO Cook said. “The weather was treacherous. It’s a miracle that little Elfie - who should have still been cuddled up to his mum and siblings - had survived outside in those temperatures. I took him home to wean him, but it soon became clear he wouldn’t be going anywhere,” she added.
ACO Cook’s children, Ava and Ethan, absolutely love Elfie as does their other dog, rescue bulldog Roxi. The two dogs are now inseparable.
“You can’t take one for a walk without the other,” ACO Cook said. “You can’t even bath one without the other!
“They sleep together, they eat at the same time. They do everything together.
“He loves us too. He loves cuddles and he’ll climb onto the sofa and put his front feet on your shoulders and cuddle you!
“He loves to be snuggled up to you - and that’s exactly where he’ll be this winter.”
Elfie was just one of 7,669 dogs rescued by the RSPCA in 2017. The charity took 534 dogs for care last December alone.
This winter the RSPCA is asking the nation to show kindness to all of the animals who don’t have loving families to spoil them this Christmas. Based on the last three winters, the RSPCA expect more than 10,000 animals to be taken into our care this winter.
Thankfully, for Elfie, his story had a happy ending but the RSPCA this month launched its Kindness at Christmas fundraising appeal to help thousands more animals like him who could be facing cruelty, neglect and suffering this Christmas.
Last year, the animal welfare charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas (1 December - 31 December). The charity took in 5,429 animals during that time and provided care to 2,508 animals over Christmas itself.
This Christmas, the charity is asking the public to support its Kindness at Christmas campaign. To donate, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness.