‘She’s responding to treatment but not out of the woods yet’ – Royston man speaks out about the moment he discovered seriously ill dog collapsed on Therfield Heath

PUBLISHED: 08:31 03 November 2016

Dr Ed Blissett found the dog under a bush on the heath, bleeding and red raw.

Dr Ed Blissett found the dog under a bush on the heath, bleeding and red raw.


A dog walker who found an abandoned cocker spaniel collapsed on Therfield Heath in Royston on Monday has told the Crow that she was in a ‘desperate state’.

Ed took the dog straight to the vets and called the RSPCA.Ed took the dog straight to the vets and called the RSPCA.

Dr Ed Blissett was walking his three-year-old black labrador Ben on the heath as he does every morning when he came across the spaniel lying under a bush near the fifth tee of the golf course.

“She was in a desperate state,” said Ed.

“She had made a nest and was lying there. She didn’t stir when we got near.”

Ed saw she was bleeding and raw, and he picked her up in his arms and walked across the heath to his car because it was clear she needed urgent care.

Dr Ed Blissett. Picture: Andrew WiardDr Ed Blissett. Picture: Andrew Wiard

“She revived a little when I picked her up,

“It was foggy and cold and she was thin and weary, I was worried that she wouldn’t last.”

“It really was a desperate situation, I’ve never known anything like it.”

Ed, a senior lecturer in employment relations at the University of Hertfordshire, put the dog on the front seat of his car, and with Ben in the back they went to Royston Veterinary Centre.

Ed's dog Ben. Picture: Andrew Thomas PhotographyEd's dog Ben. Picture: Andrew Thomas Photography

Vets began treatment straight away and Ed offered to pay the fees.

The dog is thought to be aged between two and three, is 4kg underweight and has been diagnosed with severe demodectic mange.

“It’s attrocious, absolutely appalling – the people who left her like this are below contempt.

“For a dog-lover, it’s just heartbreaking to see. It was very emotional.

“I’ve had dogs most of my life and I don’t know how anyone can treat an animal like this.”

The black and white dog – who Ed said looked like she had never been on a lead in her life – remains at the vets in Valley Rise, and Ed said while she is responding better the vets have said she’s not out of the woods yet.

“She is still very ill,” said Ed, who has lived in Royston for 20 years.

“We don’t know how she’ll respond to treatment, I go to see her every day.”

“People have asked about adopting her, but that is not on the cards unfortunately, she’s now in my care and it’ll be me or a nurse at the veterinary surgery who’ll take her in.

“I’d like to call her Nell, after Little Nell from Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop, but that’s for who gets to keep her to have the final say.”

It was Ed who called the RSPCA and they are now investigating the incident.

Inspector Stephen Reeves said: “This poor little dog had very sore skin, hardly any fur and covered in cuts to her body.

“She is very lucky to have been discovered, was taken in and rushed to the vets for treatment.

“The severity of her skin condition was so bad she was in pain and really suffering with it – she urgently needed vet care.

“We would urge anyone who recognises this cocker spaniel and may know where she has come from to contact us as soon as possible.”

The shocking discovery came within just days of the launch of the RSPCA’s Love Animals, Hate Cruelty campaign, which aims to bring these issues to the forefront.

The initiative reminds people that among the celebrations in the build up to the festive season, a huge number of calls are being made to report neglect.

Anyone with information about where this dog has come from and what happened to her is being urged to contact the RSPCA’s inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.


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