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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

‘I’m too ugly to be loved’: Hettie the dumped gentle giant can’t find a home because people say she’s not attractive enough

Hundreds of potential owners have been to see loveable pooch but her looks have put everybody off

By Daily Mail Reporter

Sad: Hettie was found dumped in the street by heartless puppy breeders and has been unable to find a new home because people think she is too ugly

When cowering Hettie was found wandering the streets, alone and suffering from mange, rescue centre owners knew they had a job on their hands cleaning her up.

Bald patches covered her body and her muscles had wasted away.

Yet after nursing her back to health, staff were convinced she would find a home.

But that was back in August and despite hundreds of potential owners looking at Hettie, her looks have put everybody off.

It seems that the loveable pooch has been unable to find a new home because people think she is too ugly.

The four-year-old mastiff crossbreed, was found wandering alone in the picturesque village of Kingham, Oxfordshire.

It is thought she was dumped by heartless puppy breeders who had repeatedly used her to produce litters of pups whilst she was still only a young dog.

Staff at the Blue Cross animal charity were left in tears when they first saw Hettie.

Stunned workers said they had never seen a dog in such an appalling condition, but they managed to nurse the affectionate pooch back to health.

Looking good: Hettie looks much better after being treated by the Blue Cross

But now, despite bouncing back from her horrific ordeal, Hettie has been unable to find a new home.

Elly Griffiths, animal welfare assistant at the Blue Cross said: 'Sadly, despite everything Hettie has gone through, people seem to be put off because she is not the prettiest of dogs.

'But we want people to look past her looks and realise she is an affectionate, friendly pet with so much love to give.'

Ms Griffiths added: 'Hettie had clearly given birth to several litters despite being just four years old and it seems she was the victim of an irresponsible breeder who appears to have used her and discarded her to fend for herself.

'We have no idea how long she was wandering as a stray but this is an appalling case of neglect and it is hard to imagine how anyone could have let her suffer so much pain and discomfort.

Loveable: Staff at the Blue Cross say Hettie would make an ideal family pet as she is sociable with both people and other dogs

'It is amazing what a loving and gentle personality she has after what she has been through and we are hoping she will find the new home she deserves.'

When she arrived at the Blue Cross, a vet confirmed that she had suspected mange plus a secondary infection of the skin.

She also had conjunctivitis and her weepy, red eyes were caused by an inherited condition called entropian where the eyelashes grow inwards.

Staff at the Blue Cross have been treating her skin with weekly baths in medicated shampoo and giving her antibiotic eye drops for her conjunctivitis.

She has been neutered by vets at the charity but the operation was more complicated than usual due to the awful condition of her skin.

She has also had surgery to remove benign tumours from her body and to correct her eyelids.

Staff say Hettie would make an ideal family pet as she is sociable with both people and other dogs.

Due to her medical problems, staff would consider supported adoption, where the charity would offer financial help with her future treatment.

Hettie is just one of the 1683 stray and abandoned animals who have come through the doors of the charity in the past 12 months.

This figure is a 57 per cent rise on the number which came in the previous year as people struggle to cope with the costs of looking after their animals and covering vets bills during the economic downturn.

To find out more about giving Hettie a home for life, call The Burford Blue Cross adoption centre on 0300 777 1570 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk.



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