An elderly abandoned Staffie in Salford with two huge tumours hanging from her stomach has been nursed back to health thanks to the kindness of strangers.
It's unclear how April - named by the dog wardens who found her - got to be in such a sad state, but it's believed her former owner may have dumped her from a car. One tumour was so large that it was bleeding from being dragged on the ground and required a £400 operation, funded by Rochdale Dog Rescue, and two hours to remove.
But there was hope for April's speedy recovery. The tumours were found to be non cancerous fatty tissue and Salford City council dog wardens Erica Eaton and Will Harris say they can't believe the change the operation has made to her.
"We think April was abandoned from a car or van on Cholmondley Road near Lightoaks Park. Fortunately a lady spotted her in the road and picked her up straight away," said Erica.
"We collected her from the RSPCA and feared the worst with the tumours being so large but we had to give her a chance. We think the tumours had been rowing for months and she lost 1.5 kilos in weight when they were removed.
"She couldn't jump up or stand on her back legs, she didn't want to play and was subdued because of the pain relief and medication she was on but her tail never stopped wagging. She’s a lovely dog and everyone who has met her has been giving her a big fuss."
The pair took it in turns to care for April in their homes over the weekend before taking her for her operation on Wednesday 27 April. After a good night's sleep at Will's home, April jumped on the sofa and was able to play with a ball in the garden.
"She was as good as gold and house trained. We think she has been someone’s family pet because she’s good with everyone including children and other dogs," he said.
April will need further treatment but is now in a foster home and be put up for adoption by Rochdale Dog Rescue.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said, "This kind of heartbreaking story is something our dog wardens deal with day in day out. Fortunately this time it had a happy ending. They really go above and beyond to care for dogs in Salford and I’m delighted to see April so happy and well."
Salford City Council dog wardens are staging the Dogs in Salford on Sunday 25 June at Clifton Country Park, Salford and all funds raised there will go to Rochdale Dog Rescue.