Two Cockapoo puppies who were found dumped in a cage and huddled asleep on top of the bodies of their dead siblings have had their lives turned around after being rescued.
Bramble and Crumble were just six-weeks-old when they were found abandoned in a cage behind an old sofa and surrounded by rubble, a wheelbarrow and discarded ladders, in a remote barn in Gorefield, Cambridgeshire.
They were found by a dog walker whose pet sniffed out the puppies but sadly two of the litter had already died. It is believed the young puppies had been there for at least two days with no food or water. The others sadly died of starvation and dehydration. Bramble and Crumble were extremely thin and dehydrated when rescued by the RSPCA in December last year.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, who rescued the puppies, said: “Last Christmas, Bramble and Crumble were weak and scared after being cruelly dumped and left to starve. This year, I’m thrilled to hear they will be spending Christmas in loving new homes.
“As RSPCA inspectors we sadly see some awful things that happen to animals, but this truly is one of the worst I have had to deal with. I was devastated by what happened to these puppies.
“These poor pups were abandoned in a cage in such a remote place that the chances of them ever being found was almost zero. It was very clear that whoever dumped them didn’t want them to be found, which is a very chilling thought.
“It’s just fortunate that someone was out walking their dogs which picked up the pups’ scent, because if not the chances are there would have been four dead puppies in the cage, had they been left undiscovered any longer.
“I just can’t imagine how truly heart-wrenching it would have been to see the poor puppies lying on top of their dead siblings. How could anyone be so callous to dump any animal in this way.”
Bramble and Crumble came into the care of RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre in Wimblington where they were cared for over Christmas. As they were so young, they needed round the clock care from the staff and a fosterer until they were ready to be rehomed.
Aimee Cumpson and her partner James Williams in Peterborough adopted Bramble, now named Coco, in January this year. (2019)
The female dog is now nine months old and is a happy and friendly puppy.
Aimee, who lives with her two sons Alfie, eight, and Archie, six, saw a picture of Coco on Block Fen’s Facebook page and instantly fell in love with her when she visited the fosterer.
She said: “It just amazes me how people can do things like that. She’s this perfect little dog. How could anyone abandon her? After everything she’s been through, she’s got no issues at all.
“She’s very playful and my boys love playing with her. She’s so adorable and just amazing really. Coco is so good, and she has such a good temperament considering what has happened to her. I don’t think it’s affected her at all.”
Coco settled into life with Aimee and her family straight away. She’s a very friendly and energetic dog who loves playing with her doggy pals, fellow Cockapoo Lola and Ralphy the cocker spaniel.
Aimee added: “She just loves attention. We have a bell at the back of the door which she can ring to be let out when she needs a wee but as I work from home, she will just go and ring the bell when she wants my attention!”
Crumble, now named Maximus, was adopted by Andrea Bywater and her family. The little black Cockapoo puppy was weaker than his sister and very subdued when Andrea adopted him - but now he has well and truly come out of his shell.
Andrea, a financial controller and volunteer gymnastics coach, who lives in Downham Market, said: “I think his sister Bramble is the one that kept him going. He was the weaker one of the two. He was so subdued when we got him and she was really lively. Now we call him Looney Tune as he’s so energetic but we love him!
“He loves the seaside and going away in our caravan, he loves paddling in the river and we live on a farm and he likes to go in the tractor with my husband.
“We had a Labrador before who sadly passed away in July last year and we didn’t think we would get another dog because it was so upsetting losing him but then we saw Max and we just fell in love with him.
“Max will be well and truly spoilt rotten this Christmas. We usually just spend Christmas with the family, nice and relaxed but Max will definitely get some presents and some treats too!”
Andrea explained that she doesn’t know if Max remembers what happened to him but as he was abandoned in a cage she doesn’t want to put him in a cage or crate and risk him feeling scared like he must have felt then.
“It’s just one of those things you can’t get out of your head when you know what has happened to them,” Andrea added.
Sadly, despite an appeal for information, the RSPCA was unable to trace who abandoned the puppies.
This year, the RSPCA is bracing itself for another busy Christmas. Last December, there were more than 61,000 calls coming through to the charity’s cruelty line, up by more than 5,000 the previous year.
It costs around £670,000 to run an RSPCA centre for a year. You can make a generous donation to Stock the Sleigh and help animals in our care.
• £7 could keep an animal warm with a soft and cosy blanket
• £15 could give the gift of comfort - a warm blanket, treats and toys
• £25 could give the gift of safety - it could help answer a phone call, provide a safe bed and food
• £40 could give the gift of care - providing essential veterinary care and medicines
This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need. To help us deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness and watch your virtual gift fill up our sleigh with a grateful wag from Sprout the dog.