They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And RSPCA staff believe it is going to take someone special to fall in love with the unusual looks of Morrissa.

The little dog has tufts of white and grey hair on her head and around her feet and tail, but the rest of her body is bald - as is the case with all hairless Chinese crested dogs.

Morrissa is also battling against ageism - she is 13-years-old - and is partially blind.

Morrissa arrived at the RSPCA's Danaher Animal Home in Essex in April and staff have so far struggled to find her a new owner.

Craig Horsler, senior supervisor at Danaher, said: ''We all think Morissa is absolutely gorgeous. But she is unusual looking and we’re worried that prospective owners consider her ugly and that is what could be putting them off of her.''

Morrissa is partially blind due to heavy scarring to her eyes from previous ulcers. Credit: RSPCA

Morrissa was rescued from a home with lots of animals.

During the weeks she has been at Danaher, staff have discovered she has some health problems and her personality has been affected by the abuse she was subjected to.

Mr Horsler said she desperately needs a kind and loving owner: ''She’s partially blind which we believe is due to heavy scarring to her eyes from previous ulcers.

''She’s also quite nervous - particularly around men - so we’re looking for a calm, quiet home for her where her new owners can slowly work to build her confidence.”

Morrissa is also quite nervous - particularly around men - so needs a calm and quiet home. Credit: RSPCA

Chinese crested dogs - a small, toy breed - are traditionally kept for companionship.

Morrissa knows lots of commands and is happy being left alone for short periods of time.

Staff believe she may be able to live with another dog and with a friendly cat. She may also be suitable to live in a family home with children.

They have also noticed that she absolutely loves fuss and attention, and spends her days snoozing.

Mr Horsler added: “She’s such a sweet, friendly little dog and she really deserves to find a loving home to enjoy her senior years.

“If anyone can offer her a home then we’d love them to get in touch.”

  • For more information about Morrissa please visit her online profile or contact Danaher directly on 01206 860586