We were devastated to say goodbye to a lovely dog this week due to cruel neglect.  We named this elderly Jack Russel, who was found as abandoned as a stray, Sunflower.  Sadly, she arrived in an extremely poor state and we rushed her straight to the vets. We desperately wanted to do everything to make her feel better, recover and feel the love that she deserved.

There were obvious signs of neglect including multiple old wounds on the top of her head and body. We weren’t sure what has caused this but they are not consistent with a skin condition. Distressingly the vet suggested they looked like burns, or possibly she had at some point been in a car accident.

She also had severe dental disease and her lymph nodes and mammary tissue were inflamed. She was very underweight and had a loud heart murmur. When she arrived at the vets she was suffering with hypothermia and the vets did everything they could do to bring her temperature up. She was given fluids, antibiotics and much needed pain relief but was not eating and was very weak and poorly. 

Sunflower had been struggling for breath, her temperature remained low, and she was unresponsive to her surroundings. She was suffering, and the vet and our team agreed her welfare severely compromised and she would not have made a full recovery. It seems that Sunflower was in agreement and passed away before any intervention from the vet. It appears she was either suffering from acute kidney disease or potentially if the wounds she sustained were caused by an acid burn she may have ingested some of this. 

Sara Rosser Head of Welfare said ‘Our experienced team are sadly used to seeing some upsetting sights, but Sunflower has truly broken our hearts. We know that this heartbreak has been felt by so many of our supporters and volunteers too. Euthanasia would always be our last resort but in Sunflower’s case it really was the best and sadly she agreed as she passed away naturally. We really want to thank her finders for bringing her to us,  and also our wonderful vets for doing everything they could to help her - we know this wasn’t an easy for them either.  As an organisation we will continue to campaign for responsible ownership, whilst also offering a place of safety for owners to surrender their dogs if they can no longer meet their needs. We would urge anyone needing help to reach out and ask for help. We will always help when a dogs welfare has been compromised no matter what the circumstances. There is simply no need for dogs like Sunflower to suffer. ”

We would ask that if anyone has any information about how Sunflower sustained her injuries to please contact us in confidence on 01443 226659.

We want to honour this wonderful girl with the respect and dignity she deserved, and have set up an in-memory fund for our “Sunflower Summerhouse” in our small paddock area. Our summerhouses are places for training and tranquillity. They allow nervous and anxious dogs the opportunity to learn about home life as well as a place to relax. They also are a place to meet potential new families. We feel that this is a fitting tribute and would welcome donations HERE.