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Incredible transformation of puppy left to die in woods

El when she was taken into care by the RSPCA. Credit: RSPCA

When a tiny, 10-week-old puppy was found almost completely bald, dumped in a bag and left in a wood in freezing temperatures at Christmas last year, veterinary staff and RSPCA officers were amazed she’d survived.

El is now a healthy, happy dog. Credit: RSPCA

Little El was very lucky to have been found by two members of the public who were walking in the woodland in Stockton-on-Tees at lunchtime on 28 December, 2017.

They found the poorly puppy wrapped in a plastic bag. She was almost completely bald and covered in scabs.

The temperature had plummeted to -2C and El had no fur to keep her warm. Just hours after being rescued, 5ins of snow covered the spot where she’d been struggling to survive.

These wonderful people found her and rushed her to a veterinary clinic in Stockton.

It was absolutely freezing and, being so young and vulnerable, I’m amazing El had survived as long as she had. She was in such a state: she was freezing cold, starving hungry and had lost almost all of her fur from a nasty case of mange. She’d been dumped in a ‘bag for life’ that had clearly been used to store Christmas decorations and she was covered in glitter, the remnants of the decorations which must have been hung on a tree and adorning a mantel piece somewhere. I was lost for words that someone could, just days after Christmas, dump a tiny, vulnerable puppy in the freezing weather. She’d been left to die. It was heartbreaking.

– RSPCA Inspector Kristina Raine
El under the Christmas tree. Credit: RSPCA

El - nicknamed by the couple who found her after their favourite TV programme Stranger Things - was fostered during the festive season and then adopted by Antony and Karl Simmonds Sergent from Redcar on Teesside.

This year, the little crossbreed - whose coat has now fully grown back and is beautifully shiny - has had a very different Christmas.

El - who has her own Facebook page, ‘El, the Demogorgon Puppy’ with more than 1,500 followers from around the world - loves sleeping on the sofa and playing fetch at the beach.

El was just one of 7,669 dogs rescued by the RSPCA in 2017. The charity took 534 dogs for care last December alone.

This winter the RSPCA is asking the nation to help deliver kindness to all of the animals who don’t have loving families to spoil them.

Based on the last three winters, the RSPCA expect more than 10,000 animals to be taken into our care this winter.

To find out more about the RSPCA's campaign, Delivering Kindness at Christmas, click here