Community club together to help dog dumped in Dudley almost 200 miles from its home in Darlington

  • Hannah Bechelet went to meet the dog and those taking care of it

Shop owners in Kingswinford in Dudley are raising money to help a dog that was dumped almost 200 miles from its home.

Coco, the name on his microchip, is thought to be a Shi Tzu. He was found in a crate in a car park behind a cafe in Kingswinford on Wednesday.

Those who found him say his chip also shows that he was registered 12 years ago to an address in Darlington.

Coco was found dumped in this crate Credit: Stacy Valentie

It is unknown what has happened to Coco between him being registered and arriving in Kingswinford but the owner of the cafe, Andrea Cain, said it was clear that he has recently been neglected.

"One of his eyes was bulging and he couldn't see out of his eyes properly because his fur was so matted", says Andrea. "It really smelt as he hadn't been cleaned properly. So it was a really shocking thing to see."

Andrea says that the fur around his neck was also worn, suggesting he had been kept on a rope or a tight collar.

Luckily there's a dog groomer two doors down from the cafe he was found outside and the owner of it, Stacy Valentine, has been looking after him ever since.

Coco's fur was completely matted Credit: Stacy Valentine

Stacey says it took four hours and three baths to get the dog clean again.

Andrea and Stacey say that the contact details on Coco's Mirco chip are no longer in use and the owner hasn't yet been identified.

Coco is currently living with Stacy and her family until the original owner or a suitable foster home is found.

Coco is being cared for by dog groomer Stacy Valentine Credit: ITV News Central

However, Stacy has concerns about the dog's health. One of his eyes appears damaged and she thinks that he may need to have it operated on.

Stacy has booked him in for a full check-up at the vets, but is expecting it to be costly.

"You could be looking at £600 plus possibly [for his eye] and his teeth on top of that", she says. "I'm not sure of the cost of that but then he's going to have to have some blood tests done to see if there's something going on internally, so you know you could be looking at £1500 or £2000."

The RSPCA says that they are seeing more dogs being abandoned and the cost of living crisis is a contributing factor.

Chris O'Brien from the charity says in the first seven months of the year there's been a significant rise in the number of reports of abandonment compared to the previous year.

"In July alone we saw 2031 reports to our emergency line about a dog that has been dumped so this is a really really prominent problem", says Chris.

Stacey and her husband have set up a fundraising page in the hope that Coco will be able to have any treatment that he needs straight away.

They are also hoping that his original owners might be found so that, after such a tough time, he can be returned home.