Over the years here at Freshfields, we have sadly come across all kinds of cruelty cases. Animals who have been ill-treated, abused and abandoned often end up on our doorstep. And when they do, we do everything within our power to help them to make a full recovery and to find their forever home, where they can at last learn to trust and to be happy.
The animals we take in never fail to amaze us. They show such incredible spirit that they never fail to inspire. It is hard to believe that any animal can undergo so much suffering and abuse, and yet still have faith in us to look after them.
We would like to share with you some of their stories, so you too can be inspired by them. We begin here with some of the many dogs in our care, their ‘before’ pictures are included, which show the often terrible state the dogs were in when they were admitted and their ‘after’ pictures when they have made a full recovery.
Although you may find some of the 'before' images distressing, please remember that all these dogs went on to lead happy, healthy lives, and they each found fantastic homes.
We have, and continue, to care for many dogs who have been treated cruelly. Sometimes this may be the result of ignorance and at other times the injuries sustained have been the result of deliberate and malicious intent. Understandably these cases are very difficult to deal with, and on an emotional level often leave us with scars of our own. We will never understand why such cruelty to any animal happens. We have been shocked to our core time and time again, finding it incomprehensible the suffering some dogs have gone through before they find their way to us.
Dogs with long coats can look truly stunning, but to achieve this they will require lots of attention. If not groomed regularly the fur will knot and mat together, causing large, hard, uncomfortable lumps. The dog is then unable to clean itself and rashes, infections, flea infestations, and sores can occur. It is also very painful when the dog is finally groomed.
Malnutrition is quite simply the result of a lack of food. It takes quite a while for a dog to lose all its body fat, which means we know that the dogs shown here have been starved over a long period of time. They will have experienced extreme and prolonged suffering. Dogs like this are unable to get warm, have painful joints and cannot sit or lay comfortably. Eventually their vital organs begin to fail. Any recovery process must be very slow, with tiny amounts of regular food, because these are all their damaged systems can cope with.
Too many animals arrive with us having obviously been neglected over a long period of time. Sometimes this is a result of ignorance, but more often is it because turning a blind eye is the easiest solution for the person/s responsible. The truth is, that closing one’s eyes to a problem, will not remove the suffering that problem causes! Indeed, the longer an animal is left to suffer, the more intense that suffering will become.
The other extreme of malnutrition is of course obesity. The expression ' killing with kindness' has never been so true as with overweight dogs. These dogs are trapped in a vicious cycle that prevents them functioning as normal dogs do, they can't lead healthy lives as exercise becomes impossible, their joints are affected and their hearts put under incredible strain.
RTA's Other Injuries
All dogs need to be cared for and kept safe at all times. If a dog is allowed to escape from home, wander off from a walk, or if it is thrown out onto the street, it is very likely to come in to contact with traffic. Dogs do not have the same understanding of cars that we humans do. They are small, usually in a state of panic and easily hit. Broken limbs on dogs feel and are treated much the same as in humans. Recovery is both lengthy and painful.
Skin conditions are very common in dogs, and usually easy to treat. Left untreated they can cause immense suffering and other serious problems. A dog who is irritated by a skin condition will chew, lick, scratch, and bite excessively, and this can create open wounds that quickly become infected.