Unwanted starving lockdown dog dumped in cage – but look at her now


Coco, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was taken in by the RSPCA Sheffield and District branch, who aided her recovery with a strict diet and exercise programme before finding her a new family

Coco the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has undergone an amazing transformation in a matter of weeks
Coco the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has undergone an amazing transformation in a matter of weeks

A starving Staffy dumped in a cage has undergone an amazing recovery – and even has a new home lined up.

The skinny Staffordshire bull terrier, renamed Coco, was found abandoned in a crate outside a Doncaster home on November 11, after a member of the public reported the pup to the RSPCA.

Coco was so ‘severely underweight’ and terrified when animal rescue officer Inspector Sara Jordan went to collect her from outside a house in Balby, South Yorkshire.

Believed to be abandoned after becoming an unwanted lockdown pet, Coco was rushed into the vets for urgent treatment as she was so thin, she was struggling to support her own bodyweight.

A vet who examined her said if she had been left much longer she would not have survived.

Coco was so skinny she struggled to hold her own weight up



The Staffy pup was not microchipped, and was taken into the care of the Sheffield and district branch of the RSPCA to recover from her traumatic ordeal.

After just two weeks, she’s made incredible progress, gaining weight and coming out of her shell.

Hayley Crooks, animal lead at the branch, said: “We put her on a special strict diet of four meals a day to help build up her weight. We also gave her an exercise plan of multiple small walks a day so as to not overdo what her little body was capable of and to build some muscle in order to support her puppy bones.

“Just 14 days later the photographs speak for themselves and she gained almost 3kg of healthy weight and after some training she was ready to be rehomed.”

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And it didn’t take long for someone to fall in love with Coco, as she has already found her forever home and she will move in before Christmas.

Hayley added: “Throughout her ordeal Coco has been nothing but amazing to her carers. She is a true Staffy and has big sloppy kisses and a wiggly bum for everyone she meets.

“We are delighted Coco has found a loving forever home as she herself has so much love to give – and am sure we will have an amazing first Christmas with her new adopters.”

Chief inspector for South Yorkshire, Lynsey Harris, said the animal welfare charity is investigating to find the person responsible for abandoning Coco.

She said: “We believe Coco was a lockdown puppy, bought at the start of the pandemic and abandoned when they realised they couldn’t take care of her.

“She was very underweight and under socialised as she may not have lived in a house before so the team at the branch have done a fantastic job in transforming her and we are delighted she has found her forever home.

“I would urge anyone who knows who is responsible for leaving Coco alone in a cage and dumped in a street to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.”

Abandonments have risen by around 20% this year compared to 2020 figures during recent months and the charity is worried that soaring pet ownership during the pandemic could mean a surge of abandoned dogs and cats as people return to normal working life.

The charity are still appealing for information to find the person responsible for dumping Coco



The charity has launched its Christmas appeal Join the Christmas Rescue to keep its rescue teams out on the road 365 days a year saving animals like Coco from abandonment, neglect and abuse.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer, added: “After another exceptionally tough year, this Christmas, more than any, should be a time for joy and togetherness. A time to be safe inside, loved and protected from the cold.

“But for thousands of innocent animals this is sadly not the case. Cruelly treated, neglected and abandoned, many face a Christmas of continued abuse or slow starvation, without warmth or affection.

“We are often their only hope, so we must do whatever it takes to rescue animals who desperately need us and stop their suffering. This is why we’re asking people to support our Christmas appeal – Join the Christmas Rescue to help keep us out rescuing the animals who need us most.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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