A starving cocker spaniel who was found abandoned and extremely underweight has found a new home.

The young spaniel named Thelma was so weak she was struggling to stand when she was found in Hardwick, Stockton, on January 6.

Thought to be just one year old, she weighed just 7.1kg, when a healthy cocker spaniel should be about double. Her coat was matter and unkept and she had a skin condition resulting in hair loss and crusty skin around her eyes.

A member of the public took her to animal welfare teams in Stockton who named her Thelma.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Thelma was in a story state when she was found by a member of the public.Thelma was in a story state when she was found by a member of the public. (Image: STOCKTON COUNCIL)

She was bathed, fed often to gain weight and treated for her skin problem and waxy ears, and put on 1kg in just over two weeks.

The council initially appealed to find her owner as they said she was suffering issues "caused by neglect".

After regaining strength, she was taken to the Dogs Trust in Darlington for rehoming.

Thelma, now renamed Flora, has since found a new home with owner Lesley Brown, who works at Clifton Lodge Vets where she was initially taken for treatment, and her dogs Bull Mastiff Luna and crossbreed Bruno.

Lesley said: “It was love at first sight for me. When she initially came into the vets, they said she wouldn’t have survived another week which was so upsetting.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Thelma, now Flora, has found a new home with Lesley Brown.Thelma, now Flora, has found a new home with Lesley Brown. (Image: DOGS TRUST)

“I can get quite emotional when she is sitting on my knee, thinking of what she has been through, but she will never be cold or lonely again.  She’s now up to her ideal weight of 13.7kg and her beautiful coat has fully grown back.

“Flora has fitted right into the family and is living her best life. She is such a happy and playful girl; she loves playing tug of war and running around with Luna.  We have a big toy box for the dogs which she is always in picking out toys one by one.  We spoil her but she deserves every second of it.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Flora.Flora. (Image: DOGS TRUST)


Alex Hennessey, Manager at Dogs Trust Darlington Rehoming Centre said: “We are thrilled by how far Flora has come. To see her now, happy, healthy and loved, it's a tribute to everyone who was involved in her care and her wonderful resilience.

“It’s sad that so many dogs come into the care of the Local Authority Animal Welfare Team but it’s comforting to know that the team work tirelessly to do all that they can for the dogs and by working with Dogs Trust, we can give many of them second chances in life by finding them new homes.” 

 Carolyn Nice from Stockton Borough Council added: “We are absolutely delighted to see the progress of Flora and it is so pleasing to know what a happy and healthy life she now has.

"Our Animal Welfare team deserve enormous credit for the work they put in to nurse her back to health – and thank you also to our partners at Dogs Trust who we work very closely with. Of course, if you are thinking about getting a dog then we would encourage anyone to think about rehoming a dog from Dogs Trust.”