A CENTENARIAN south Wales dog is recovering after being rescued by the RSPCA.
Duke, an Akita, is 104 in dog years – or 17 in human years – and was rescued by South Wales Police on August 23 and taken in by the RSPCA after he was left inside a property in south Wales.
Duke was found in poor health by the officers, who called in RSPCA inspector David Milborrow. He was underweight and unsteady on his legs. He had severe muscle loss, knuckling of his hind legs and sores on his back legs.
He was taken to RSPCA’s Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home but struggled to find a home through adoption or fostering due to his age and failing health.
“Poor Duke was in quite a state when he arrived here. He was under-weight and very unsteady on his legs. He was suffering from severe muscle loss, knuckling of his hind limbs and sores on his back legs. Walking is a real struggle for him,” said Haley Medlock, digital and community fundraiser for Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home.
“Despite all of this, he is full of love and adores cuddling up to our staff and snoozing in the sunshine. Realistically we don’t know how long this lovely lad has left but we’re determined to ensure his final weeks or months are the best they can be.”
But things began to turn around when Kate and her family – first time fosterers – offered him a home.
Kate said: “We lost our dog in January and when we saw Duke’s advert on Facebook, we were so sad that he hadn’t had any applications. We felt every dog deserves a loving home, especially in those later years and, being a vet student studying at home, I felt we could offer him a suitable home.
“He’s getting on so well and settled in straight away. His personality is really coming through now, he’s doing much better with his mobility around the house, and he barks when we get his harness out for a walk. He gets so excited when my parents come home from work and wags his tail.
“Considering all he’s been through it is lovely to see that he can still trust people and that’s testament to the work of the RSPCA and his wonderful carers at Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home.”
Ms Medlock said: “Duke is so happy in his new foster home and is loving the home comforts and attention he deserves. We can’t thank his new family enough for providing him with a safe and loving space to enjoy life.
“Now we’re looking for wonderful supporters to sponsor Duke and help him in his new home. He has costly daily pain relief, medication for his joints and cream to treat his sores. We’d also like to buy him a high-quality harness and walking aid to help him get back on his paws.
“The cost of his ongoing care is expected to be around £550 so we’re appealing to local people who have followed his story and fallen in love with this old lad to help us support him so he can have the best retirement possible.”
You can sponsor Duke online or donate to the Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home to help them continue their work. Anything raised over the total will go towards helping Duke’s friends who remain in the RSPCA care.