VIDEO: Abandoned dog in Peterborough finds joy with new owner

Ella broke the hearts of millions of people when her story hit the headlines earlier this year.

The neglected, frightened dog was found curled up, tied to a fence with a piece of string in Peterborough, on a cold February morning. The RSPCA was called and an inspector came to collect the tan-coloured lurcher.

Ella

Ella

She had been abandoned in Laburnum Grove, Dogsthorpe.

CCTV footage - filmed by a camera at a house nearby and released by the RSPCA - showed a man in dark-coloured clothing, with his hood up, walk over to the fence and tie her up before running away as she sadly looked on.

Almost 1.7 million watched the heartbreaking video and the RSPCA followed up a number of leads but the man was never traced.

Ella was taken in by the charity’s Block Fen Animal Centre, near March, where the withdrawn dog began to come out of her shell.

Staff at the centre spent more than three months working tirelessly to improve her body condition, treat her for a nasty skin infection and build her confidence.

And then, in June, she said goodbye to her rescuers and went to start a new life in nearby Whittlesey with Kirk Brawn and his other RSPCA rescue dog, Leia.

Kirk said: “It’s like she has always lived here, within five minutes of arriving she had made herself comfortable on the settee!”

Ella - now renamed Padme by the avid Star Wars fan - has now been in her new home for two months and has already got into a routine and befriended her new sister, 11-year-old Leia.

“In the house she likes to relax but follows Leia and I everywhere,” Kirk added. “She’s really playful in the garden and loves playing with her toys - and chewing flipflops.

“She walks perfectly on the lead and when she’s off the lead in a secure field she comes back when called. To see her running flat-out is amazing.

“She is very, very loving and although she’s only been with us for a few months we already have a very strong bond.”

Kirk, who rescued Leia from Block Fen in 2008, had been contemplating getting another dog for a few years but wanted to make sure he got the right one.

“I’d been casually looking at Block Fen’s website for a while and when I saw Padme I thought she looked beautiful,” he said. “The fact she needed another dog just felt right and when I went to visit her I fell in love.

“Leia and Padme got on so that was that.

“I didn’t know Padme’s history when I initially went to see her but when staff told me what happened and I looked at all the stories online I was heartbroken to see how she was treated.

“Block Fen have done an amazing job - she is unrecognisable from how she was when she was found.”

RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, who rescued Padme, said: “I’m gutted that we weren’t able to bring someone to justice for the awful way poor Padme had been treated.

“But the best part of my job is getting to see the dogs I rescue go on to their new homes to receive the love and care they deserve.

“I wish Padme, Leia and Kirk all the best and I’m sure they’ll all be very happy together.”

Padme is one of 8,009 dogs rescued by the RSPCA last year - that’s nearly one every hour.

She is due to star on the small screen in the Channel 5 Dog Rescuers show presented by Alan Davies.

Alan said: “The Dog Rescuers goes behind the scenes to see the RSPCA at work rescuing dogs from neglect and abuse.

“It’s sad to see dogs suffering but always a joy when they are nursed back to health and find loving new homes.”

To help fund the RSPCA visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).

If you would like to give a dog rescued by the RSPCA a new home, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.