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New home for Santos and new hope for Neo: Dogs injured in horrific axe attack have a future thanks t



After months of expert care, love and support, one of the dogs who were brutally attacked by their owner in Liverpool has found a new home.

In one of the most harrowing cases of cruelty we have ever seen, Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossbreeds Neo and Santos were viciously attacked with an axe by their owner in December 2017.

The injuries they sustained were horrifying: the vet who treated them said Neo’s lacerations alone were consistent with three or four blows with the sharp end of an axe. The dogs spent 6 months in police kennels while the investigation took place.

Magistrates ordered the owner to pay £1,100 prosecution costs and he was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.


Dawn Hurst, Operations Manager for Freshfields, takes up the story:“We were contacted by the police and asked to take Neo and Santos, as they were ready to leave the police kennels. We had no spaces but we simply could not say no to these dogs who had been through the most horrendous ordeal. One of our very kind and generous supporters saved the day by securing them a place in a private boarding kennels. This is not something that we are often in a position to do, and with hundreds of dogs needing our help each year there sadly aren’t spaces for all of them.

If we had not stepped in for Neo and Santos we feared that their future was at risk. We did everything we could to make them safe whilst we put a plan in place. Neo and Santos spent over a month in boarding kennels, before spaces became available at the rescue centre. During that time, our staff gradually formed the relationships that would prove crucial in helping these poor dogs to begin to recover, and to trust humans again.

We travelled to and from the boarding kennels to visit them every week, helping them to be as comfortable and calm as they could be. With gentleness and patience, our staff took the time to help them just be at ease with our presence and to find ways of engaging their interest and curiosity. To put together a recovery and rehabilitation plan, it was important to us to learn more about their behaviour and individual personalities, and to do everything possible to help Neo and Santos to become confident, happy dogs.


Neo who is stilllooking for his forever home

Slowly and carefully, we introduced Neo and Santos to going on short walks with us, building up to longer trips out, and this was vital in helping them to make that transition when it was time to take them to Freshfields. After getting to know the dogs in this way, we were able to match them up with the most suitable members of our Volunteer Dog-Walking Team.

We are always truly humbled to see the enormous capacity for love and trust shown by animals who have been through abuse and trauma. After everything they have been through, it was magical to see Neo and Santos form a joyful and loving relationship with their dedicated volunteers. We can now say with confidence that New and Santos have made a full recovery! We are delighted to report that Santos has found a loving home. Our happy boy, pictured above with his new dad Sebastian Percy.


Sebastian said: He's the most wonderful companion I could have ever wished for. I've also decided to rename him Sunshine, and he's responding very well to that name. He's definitely my little sunshine. I feel extremely fortunate to have him in my life. He loves getting his belly rubbed and his ears scratched!


“The Kennels staff at Freshfields are wonderful people and so passionate about the animals. They made me feel really comfortable and welcome, and gave me the opportunity to come in as much as I wanted and get to know Sunshine really well. He's got a bright future in front of him now!”

We are so happy for Sunshine, and we long to find a new home for Neo. This friendly, affectionate and loving boy would make a wonderful friend. He’s made fantastic progress, and is learning to love chilling out in the car with his dog-walker (pictured below) We would be glad to see him have the same happy ending as his mate Santos. He’s a firm favourite with our dog walkers. He will need to be the only pet in an adult-only home, where someone is around for most of the day to help him settle in to his new life.


“Freshfields Animal Rescue marks our 40th anniversary in 2019. Now more than ever we need your support to be a voice for the voiceless, and to bring new hope into the lives of abused animals like Neo and Sunshine. We would be nowhere without our amazing, compassionate supporters, and we appeal to you now to help Neo to make his miracle happen.

Thank you so much to everyone who helps us to be there for the animals for however long THEY need US.”

For more information about Neo or the work of Freshfields Animal Rescue, please call the Liverpool centre on 0151 931 1604 or go to www.freshfields.org.uk


PLESSE NOTE THAT THE BELOW PHOTOS SHOWS THE INJURIES THE DOGS SUFFERED


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