A heavily pregnant golden retriever left sick and starving by a cruel owner has found a loving home for her and her pups just in time for Christmas. “Sweet” Amber, four, was discovered by a horrified member of the public after she had been dumped in a field in High Wycombe, Bucks., back in March by her previous owner.
The poor dog was skeletal aside from her bulging pregnant belly, and was suffering from sarcoptic mange which was bleeding from scratching and biting her itchy skin. When anyone approached her, Amber was so scared that she tried to hide from them – but eventually, she was too exhausted and a dog walker managed to catch her and take her to a vet.
Staff at the vet believed she had been used for “backyard breeding” by an amateur breeder who dumped the dog when they realised they would need to pay for a vet to help deliver her large litter. After she had been examined, Amber was transferred to the Blue Cross pet charity’s centre in Burford, Oxon, where she soon went into labour.
While fears rose as the puppies’ heart rates began to drop in the womb, in an early Christmas miracle, eight were successfully delivered after an emergency C-section. Amber was too weak and stressed to feed them, and charity staff stepped in to feed the pups by hand.
Over 25 staff and volunteers worked 24 hour shifts to feed the pups every three hours. The charity said it was “touch and go” for Amber’s puppies – who were named Theodore, Cider, Dougal, Kasper, Winnie, Holly, Sasha and Bailey – but once Amber began to improve, she and her pups thrived.
All eight puppies have now found homes, as well as Amber, who at last had her happy ending as she was taken in by the Griffith family of Witney, Oxon.
The family had sadly previously lost their 12-year-old golden retriever named Henry in May this year, at which point they turned to Blue Cross to give their other dog, Stanley, a new companion. Amber was brought home by Elly Griffith, 38, and was welcomed with open arms by her husband Adam, 42, and their two children aged six and nine.
Elly said: “We wanted a friend for Stanley after the sad passing of our other golden retriever.
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Elly said: “She still trusts people and is so sweet and welcomed us straight away. Amber loves the garden and loves going for walks in the woods.
“It’s just been fantastic having Amber settle into our family and being able to give her the home she deserves after being used as a puppy farm dog.”
Commenting on the practice of backyard breeding, she said the “criminal” business is “nasty stuff”, and “can be as lucrative as drug dealing.” She said while there are “so many dogs out there like Amber that haven’t been so lucky,” the Griffiths “really want to spoil Amber this Christmas.”
The Blue Cross has so far this year taken in 3,574 pets for rehoming and 14 per cent of those were abandoned by cruel owners.
To donate to the charity, click here.