The neglected stray dog 'Soldier' who has been nursed back to health and needs a new home

Staff say that Soldier's personality is finally starting to shine through Credit: Bristol Animal Rescue Centre

A severely injured and neglected dog is now looking for his forever home after being nursed back to health at a Bristol rescue centre.

Soldier, a lurcher, was handed into the centre after he was found straying by a member of the public.

He was dangerously underweight with a protruding rib cage, he had open sores on his legs, and his ear tip was damaged.

His carer Kayleigh said that his wounds and injuries had been left untreated for some time and he was behaving as if he was in shock.

“We have no way of knowing how long he had been straying for before arriving here and his injuries were not fresh. His body condition alone would tell us that he had been neglected.

"He was worried by things when he first arrived in January, but he’s come such a long way since then."

Soldier was dangerously unwell when he first came into the centre Credit: Bristol Animal Rescue Centre

Staff at the centre say that Soldier has finally started to find his feet again after months of care.

“He can still be a little worried, but we are seeing his real personality shine through now. He loves cuddles and will happily sit for half an hour or more on someone’s lap enjoying the attention.

"Now that he’s used to human affection, he can get quite lonely and loves being in the company of people; this is so positive for a dog who was also neglected by people."

Now that Soldier has reached a healthy weight, the centre says that he is finally available for adoption.

"We’d like to find him a home where he’ll have lots of attention, ideally someone who is home a lot and can spend all day with him – he deserves the very best after everything he’s been through,” added Kayleigh.

“He’s still a bit anxious around other dogs, although we have carefully introduced him to another dog in our care and they have enjoyed a few walks together.

"All in all, he’s just a really good boy and it’s fantastic to see how far he’s come during his time in our care”.

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre say that the number of animals who are coming in with significant medical issues is on the rise.

Jodie Hayward, the Animal Home Manager from the centre, said that many owners are having to skip taking their pets to the vets because they are struggling to afford the cost of treatment.

Soldier is now looking for his forever home Credit: Bristol Animal Rescue Centre

“Many pets are going without urgent medical care, particularly during the cost of living crisis and unfortunately we are picking up the pieces.

“More animals are coming into our care with complex needs, and fewer people want to adopt them.

"We need support to give more of them a second chance at a happy life."

The centre say not only are more pets arriving with untreated medical conditions, but they are also having to stay longer. The average stay for a dog is up from 85 days to 93.

Staff are also finding that some animals are being left in rescue centres because their complex needs means people are less people are willing to adopt them.