'Thinnest Living Dog' Nursed Back to Health

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A Staffordshire mix that was found abandoned near Somerset, England has been described as the thinnest living dog.

The neglected and malnourished animal was taken to the RSPCA center in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset by a man who said he found her in a cardboard box near the side of a road. The RSPCA immediately took the dog to Clarendon Vets where she was examined. The RSPCA staff has given her the name Hope.

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Hope is believed to be 1 to 2 years old and weighs just 17 pounds, which is half her expected healthy weight. According to the Mirror (U.K.), the dog was too weak to walk or eat when she was found.

Hope is under the care of vet Anna Parry at Bridge Veterinary Practice. Parry said, "I spent eight years working at an RSPCA clinic in the past so I am no stranger to abused and neglected animals, but this is the thinnest dog I have ever seen still alive."
Parry said that when Hope first arrived, clinicians had to wrap her in blankets and bubble wrap to keep her body temperature warm. Nurses stayed up all night with the dog to make sure she was OK. Hope is no longer plugged to an IV and is more responsive, but she still has a long road to recovery.

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RSPCA inspector John Norman, who will be investigating the case, said, "This poor creature was found in a terrible state, and it would seem that whoever allowed her to get like this simply tried to get rid of the problem by abandoning her as though she was rubbish."

Under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can face up to six months in prison and/or a 20,000-pound fine.

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When Hope is well enough, she will be transferred to the RSPCA North Somerset Branch Brent Knoll Animal Centre.

An RSPCA representative told us that Hope is making great progress and has managed to stand up on her own and walk a few paces.
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