Two Cockapoo puppies found dumped in a cage with their dead siblings last Christmas will now spend the festive season in new homes after being rescued.
The dogs, named Bramble and Crumble, were only six weeks old when they were left in a cage behind an old sofa - surrounded by rubble, a wheelbarrow and discarded ladders - in a remote barn in Gorefield, Cambridgeshire.
It’s thought the puppies were abandoned for at least two days with no food or water and they became extremely thin and dehydrated.
Amazingly, a dog walker’s pet sniffed them out. Bramble and Crumble were the only two left out of their litter, as the others tragically died of starvation.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, who rescued the puppies, said: “Last Christmas, Bramble and Crumble were weak and scared after being cruelly dumped and left to starve. This year, I’m thrilled to hear they will be spending Christmas in loving new homes.”
He added: “This truly is one of the worst I have had to deal with. I was devastated by what happened to these puppies.”
“These poor pups were abandoned in a cage in such a remote place that the chances of them ever being found was almost zero. It was very clear that whoever dumped them didn’t want them to be found, which is a very chilling thought.
“It’s just fortunate that someone was out walking their dogs which picked up the pups’ scent, because if not the chances are there would have been four dead puppies in the cage, had they been left undiscovered any longer.”
He continued: “I just can’t imagine how truly heart-wrenching it would have been to see the poor puppies lying on top of their dead siblings. How could anyone be so callous to dump any animal in this way”
Bramble and Crumble were cared for round the clock over Christmas by the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre in Wimblington. Due to their young age, they needed a fosterer whilst they waited to be rehomed.
However, it didn’t take long before the cockapoos were offered a fresh start in life.
Bramble - now named Coco - was adopted in January 2019 by Aimee Cumpson and her partner James Williams in Peterborough.
She is now a nine-month-old happy and friendly puppy, and it was love at first sight for Aimee.
She said: “It just amazes me how people can do things like that. She’s this perfect little dog. How could anyone abandon her? After everything she’s been through, she’s got no issues at all.”
“She’s so adorable and just amazing really. Coco is so good, and she has such a good temperament considering what has happened to her. I don’t think it’s affected her at all.”
Aimee added: “She just loves attention. We have a bell at the back of the door which she can ring to be let out when she needs a wee but as I work from home, she will just go and ring the bell when she wants my attention!”
Meanwhile the black cockapoo Crumble is now named Maximus, and was adopted by Andrea Bywater and her family who live in Downham Market.
When he was first adopted, he was subdued and weaker than his lively sister.
Andrea recalls: “I think his sister Bramble is the one that kept him going. Now he’s so energetic but we love him!”
“He loves the seaside and going away in our caravan, he loves paddling in the river and we live on a farm and he likes to go in the tractor with my husband.
“Max will be well and truly spoilt rotten this Christmas.”
She added that as he was abandoned in a cage, she wants to avoid putting him in a cage or crate in case he feels scared.
Despite an appeal for information, the RSPCA couldn’t find who abandoned the puppies - and it’s expected this Christmas will see a further uptake an animals being abandoned as the RSPCA expects to take in over 10,000 animals in need throughout the winter.
Last December, there were more than 61,000 calls coming through to the charity’s cruelty line, up by more than 5,000 the previous year.
It costs around £670,000 to run an RSPCA centre for a year, and you can donate to the RSPCA’s Stock the Sleigh appeal here.