The RSPCA come to the rescue of a frightened boxer left home alone, a team searches for basking sharks in Scottish waters, and Tom Heap helps squirrels fighting for survival.
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Britain's animals are under threat.
All too often, our wildlife and domestic pets are the victims
of cruelty, persecution and neglect.
Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect
and care for them, right around the clock. This is Animal 24/7.
In the air, on land and in the water,
Britain is a haven for animals.
But when they come up against man, their lives are often in danger.
From our cramped inner cities to our fields and hedgerows,
from the highest moorland to the coast and beyond,
Animal 24/7 is with the people working around the clock
to save endangered wildlife and protect vulnerable pets.
These are their stories.
Today on Animal 24/7...
the frightened Boxer in need of rescue.
He's absolutely terrified, as you can see.
A dog that's nervous like this can turn aggressive
so I'm just gonna give him a chance to recognise what's going on.
In search of the 30 foot sharks in Scottish waters...
There's a shark, we've got a shark about 100 metres at half past 12.
And I help the home-grown squirrels fighting for survival.
It's my first proper sight actually of a red squirrel
at any proximity, I think, other than on the telly!
-They're beautiful creatures.
First though we're off to Manchester and a report that a dog has been left alone in an empty house.
The RSPCA has been visiting the property for two days,
so they can be certain the animal has definitely been abandoned.
Numerous notes have been left asking the owner to get in touch
but no-one has and the dog is still alone.
This is the face of an animal that needs help.
The Boxer has been on its own without food for at least two days.
Now RSPCA inspector, Lorna Bracegirdle, has decided to act.
I came to this property yesterday and the day before.
He's up in this top bedroom, I don't think he can get to the front door.
I'm not sure what condition he is in, though, he could be quite skinny or he could be all right,
he could be fit and healthy, but we know he's certainly not had food and water for the past two days
so we're just waiting for the police to arrive
and we'll go ahead and get him out
and get him off to the vet's and see how he is.
To just leave a dog locked in a bedroom, we're assuming with no food or water,
and to just go and leave him in situation where he's going to suffer and he's all alone, just baffles me.
I just don't understand why you would need to do that when you just need to make the phone call to us.
The reason this dog has been left may be a mystery, but one thing is clear -
Lorna needs to get it out as quickly as possible.
Now the police are on the scene with the legal powers to break in.
He's quite nervous as well so he could potentially be aggressive.
Once the door is opened, it appears Lorna was right to be so concerned.
The dog is trembling with fear.
He's very, very nervous, so a dog that's nervous like this
can potentially, if you back it into a corner, turn aggressive
so I'm just gonna give him a chance to recognise what's going on.
He's absolutely terrified, as you can see, because he's been on his own for so long.
As Lorna gives the dog time to get used to her, she takes a look at where it's been living.
He's obviously been in here quite a while, there's quite a lot of faeces here.
He's been using this front bit as his toilet.
I can't see any... He's got a bowl there, but it's empty.
I can't see any evidence of food or anything down for him.
This room is not just dirty, it's also dangerous.
He's got a bottle of bleach here. A dog that's hungry is gonna rummage around all these things for food.
If he starts biting into a bottle of bleach, obviously that's not gonna down very well.
It's just the whole room is completely hazardous.
After a few minutes, Lorna's patience pays off and it becomes clear this dog is craving company.
Oh, good boy, well done, here you go.
Now I've just got a bit of trust with him,
I managed to get the lead over him and he seems quite wanting to get out now!
He is quite skinny as well, he is quite lean,
but he doesn't look very old.
You can see all his spine is quite prominent there and his ribs.
You're happy to go now, aren't you?
The trick is to just not rush in there with graspers and things like that.
If he's gonna come out on his own, that's better because obviously the vet's got to examine this dog
and I've got to get him travelling and I don't want him to be aggressive.
Closer inspection reveals this Boxer is actually a female
and she's itching to get out into the fresh air.
Yes, you're happy to be out now, aren't you?
She says, "Let's go!" She's gorgeous!
Although underweight, she is full of life.
Lorna can't understand why anyone would leave her in such a state.
It's just been a shame. She's only a young dog
so to be on her own like that for a couple of days not knowing what's going on...
must be terrifying, really.
Confused but at least safe from harm, this Boxer will soon be on her way for a vet check,
but first Lorna needs to go back inside to try and find out exactly who's to blame for abandoning her.
I'm just gonna take some photographs now.
It will be used as evidence if this goes to court but also it gives the vet a better idea
of how the dog's been living and it will help him to make an opinion on the dog's welfare and the conditions.
There's quite a lot of things that the dog could have injured herself on...all these cans.
There's a razor on the floor there, um...
there's no water down for the dog, there's no food anywhere.
I just don't understand why you would ever need to be in the situation
to abandon your dog like this that, you know,
if you haven't got friends and family to ring them and say,
"Can you go and look after my dog, I need to move out?" or whatever...
you can ring us... but to just go and not do anything and leave your dog in an enclosed room full of hazards,
no water, no food, for a number of days,
that I just don't understand - it's just outright neglect, basically.
It's soon apparent that the dog has been desperate.
As you can see, the dog has been chewing various bottles that are in here.
There's a couple here that have been chewed.
She could have easily injured herself doing that,
chewed the bleach, there's a glass bottle there,
and so many things that she could injure herself on.
But as well as bleach and sharp objects,
who knows what other hazards this dog has had to put up with?
Only a thorough check by the vet will reveal if she's eaten something that might cause her harm.
Still to come...picked up in the north but registered in the south,
Lorna investigates the mystery of the lady Boxer's past.
I've picked up a dog today that is microchipped with your details on, but I'm in Manchester.
She's been left abandoned in a property for a week.
And the team close in on the 30ft giant of the sea.
We've got a sample, it's OK.
This is a woodland of coppiced chestnut in Kent.
It's a beautiful and quite peaceful place,
but, like many of our forests, it's actually been the scene
of a battle, a running skirmish lasting nearly 140 years
between two fairly similar animals -
the red and the grey squirrel -
and, as you probably know, the grey squirrel's won out.
There are now 66 greys for every red in this country, but now here,
among these trees, the reds are fighting back.
Look carefully at these red squirrels as they're a rare sight
in the British countryside,
but today, I'm joining a group of conservationists, the "Red Army"
if you like, who are helping this endangered species to fight back.
Doctor Craig Shuttleworth is a man on a mission -
he's creating a safe haven for them in Wales
and today he's come to Kent for a big occasion.
Our project is to replace all the greys on the island of Anglesey with reds
and we're in the final phase now
so today we're gonna collect some animals from here in Wild Wood,
take them up and release them onto the island.
There's nowhere else in the UK where we've got a chance of clearing out greys permanently at this stage
and putting reds in, so Wild Wood have bred some reds and we'll use them in this phase of the project.
Red squirrels are nervous, so Wild Wood's Judy Dunne has already set traps to try and catch them.
So what's with all the towelage?
Right, if we're lucky and we've got the squirrels in the traps,
we like to keep them as calm as possible so we cover them up
with a variety of tea-towels that we have here!
That's just to keep them a bit placid
-and away from lots of things?
-Yes, cos they do get quite stressed.
Red squirrel numbers have been in decline since the 19th century
when their great rivals, the greys, were brought over from America.
Staff at Wild Wood have been successfully breeding reds in safe pens to help projects like Craig's.
This is the most active time of the day, early in the morning, so you set the traps as early as possible.
It's all right for us to have a look?
-Yes, let's go and see...
-See how it works.
'Judy is hoping to catch two squirrels, a male and a female,
'but will any have taken the bait?'
We actually have three in the traps, which is probably just what I wanted this morning.
They are marvellous!
This is my first proper sight actually of a red squirrel
at any proximity, I think, probably other than on the telly!
They're beautiful creatures!
-They are! They're much slighter than greys, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
-They're more delicate?
-Yeah, different design altogether.
Greys are much more heavy and they put on more fat in the winter.
The reds spend a lot more time in the trees so they're a lot leaner.
Now it's time to take a closer look.
-So what do you think we've got here in the traps?
-OK, we have
a juvenile male, and in the blue, a juvenile female.
This is just what we wanted, so now we need to get them boxed up
and comfortable, ready for their journey to Wales, but there's a real art to it.
Put the cage up so the entrance is up round this hole,
then we'll open the door and then with the cover on,
hopefully the squirrel eventually will move from the trap
into the box, and once it's in, we can close it like that.
It's a little bit tricky but I'm sure we'll do it.
'The squirrel is clearly nervous about being so close to humans.'
Lower from the back.
'But, after a few false starts, the first one eventually darts inside the box.'
And there you go, one squirrel in a box.
'Time for squirrel number two.'
The main thing is to make sure there's no gap,
cos if there's the slightest gap, they will find it and will be out in a flash.
-It has to be a snug fit?
-Yep. So if we just lift up the catch again...
'Thankfully no gaps appear,
'and this one proves much keener to get in.'
Just get that brush in. That was a very easy one!
'Our two squirrels join ten others that are going to be re-homed in Wales.'
But the stress involved in catching them will have taken its toll
and they've still got a seven-hour car journey to come.
Is there any danger on the journey?
There's always a risk when you're moving any animals.
I've not had any animals die on long journeys
and I've done longer journeys than this, but there's always a risk.
We drive late into the night to the edge of a deep, dark wood in Wales.
It's here where we're hoping our squirrels will begin their new life,
but I'm worried they may not even have survived the journey.
So, what do you think? Are they normally that quiet?
Yeah, you very rarely hear a noise at all from them.
So it's not a worrying sign?
No, no, everything's going well.
Our reds are the first to enter this piece of woodland for 25 years.
The grey squirrels have all been removed
and now it's their big chance.
They are beautiful woods, and especially kind of mystical at this time of night.
It's great to think they'll be getting one of their proper residents back again.
For the next four weeks, the squirrels will be kept in holding pens
to get used to their new surroundings. I've brought them a little present -
a deer antler full of calcium for their nut-cracking teeth.
It's a ready-meal - nuts, carrots, seeds.
There's their antler as well and a few playthings for them.
The squirrels have had a stressful day
so we leave them to venture out of their travel boxes on their own.
In the morning we'll be able to find out how well they've settled
-and whether this whole journey has been worthwhile.
Coming up, it's a tense time as we arrive to check our squirrels.
It's quite a nervous wait for you, isn't it?
It certainly is for me, because we don't actually know how they are, they could be dead!
They could be, they could be.
And it's dinner-time for the abandoned Boxer.
She's ate that quick! Didn't take very long!
For a dog to eat like that, she was definitely hungry
and now she's thirsty.
It's a sight guaranteed to scare any swimmer -
a large dark fin breaking the waves far too close for comfort,
but while we never see a Great White in Britain, we are visited by its bigger and gentler cousin -
the Basking Shark.
They visit out seas every year.
It's a great opportunity to research them, but first you've got to find them!
The Isles of Mull and Coll off the West Coast of Scotland are an area often visited by huge basking sharks
attracted to the plankton-rich waters.
But we still don't know a great deal about these giants of the sea.
A husband and wife research team are trying to change that.
For three years, Dr Mavis Gore and her husband Rupert have been scouring the waters
to gain a more accurate insight into these secretive giants,
a species that in the past has been hunted to the brink of extinction.
There's quite a bit of concern about these very large sharks,
worldwide, not just here.
Their fins are quite valuable for the shark fin trade,
the shark fin super-trade
so they are a marked species.
Basking sharks can grow up to 10 metres long
and their mouths are as wide as a car,
but despite their size, they're rarely spotted,
normally feeding on the tiny plankton of the deep ocean
but sometimes though that plankton rises and the basking sharks follow.
Today, Mavis and Rupert are on the look-out for these rare windows of opportunity.
One of the reasons we're working here is because we've seen quite a number of basking sharks
off the west coast of Scotland.
We really don't know what they're doing, whether they're going north, south,
whether they're migrating across the Atlantic from here, going up to Norway,
we really know very little about the population up here.
But there's no guarantee the team will spy any sharks
and it's now been over 24 hours since their last sighting. They need a lucky break.
Just leaving a shark there, over.
Then, finally, news comes through from another boat that sharks may have broken the surface,
but frustratingly, they're miles away!
We've just had confirmation that there's a couple of sharks.
There's one small one that's a little way off from our route
and there's three that are in Calgary Bay so we're gonna head down
to Calgary Bay and we're just off Glengorm Castle here at the moment
so we're going to head down the coast and hopefully catch up with them.
Rupert and Mavis race to the area where the sharks were spotted.
They want to get so close to the sharks they can take a DNA sample
as well as photos for their database.
But they can only do this if the sharks are still visible.
Well, there's nothing up at the moment.
I'll just wait a little bit and see if they'll pop up.
But then they get lucky!
Yep, there's a shark, we've got a shark
at about 100 metres at half past 12 swimming away from us.
Right, it's coming up right in front of us, about 50 metres more up there.
In three years, Mavis and Rupert have tagged four Basking Sharks.
The GPS shows the ones here are old friends.
You can see the position of the sharks we've just spotted on the GPS here,
You can see a whole concentration of sharks in the same area
so each of these numbers with the blue and white symbol next to it
is an individual Basking Shark that we've recorded.
Rupert carefully edges the boat towards the sharks,
hoping not to scare them off,
and finally Mavis gets to take her identification photos.
The reason that we want to know who's who and to identify each individual is we want to know,
do we see the same individual in the same place again, say the next day,
a week later, a month later or next year, or is it a resident population
or are there new sharks coming through all the time
and that will tell us something about the numbers of sharks that there are.
Experience means they are able to steer the boat close enough for Mavis to retrieve some DNA.
Right, I'm jus going to get this pole ready so that we can take
a very small piece of skin from the shark.
-Did you get it?
-Yes, that one was a bit more of a stick than I normally do.
We've got a sample, it's OK.
The mission has been a huge success,
mapping and photographing a group of sharks
and collecting another DNA sample to add to their project.
'What we're doing not only helps conserve the Basking Sharks themselves
'but the habitat around them, so there's a lot of other animals
involved in the chain between the Basking Shark and its environment
and by understanding what the Basking Sharks need,
are they moving north, are the numbers recovering, will tell us something about the eco-system
they're living in and so this is really, really important work.
And thanks to this painstaking research,
the worldwide knowledge of Basking Sharks is improving all the time.
It means these magnificent giants of the sea will have a much brighter future.
caught on camera, the hungry red squirrels tucking into their dinner.
-There she goes in the box!
From the size of her she looks like she's an expert at getting in there!
Now back to the story of the abandoned Boxer in Manchester.
The dog was found trapped in a bedroom with no food or water.
The room was also littered with potential hazards,
including disused razors and bleach bottles.
RSPCA Inspector Lorna Bracegirdle was worried that out of boredom and hunger
the dog may have eaten something she shouldn't have.
After being rescued from her dirty and dangerous home,
this young Boxer is now under the watchful eye of the RSPCA.
Lorna has brought her to a vet's in Manchester to try and establish
who her owner is and what state she's been left in.
I'm just gonna scan her to see if she's got a microchip.
What is it?
Yep, she's micro-chipped.
This is potentially good news and means Lorna should be able to find this dog's owner.
Just give Petlog a ring and see who she's registered to.
And with these details, Lorna should be able to find out
why this dog has been abandoned, but the information she is given leaves her with even more questions.
I've just spoken to Petlog
and I've got her name as being Sophie, one year old, and an owner.
This owner lives quite far away from where we are so I'm going to give them a ring and we'll just see
if they've got any details of who they re-homed her to.
I've picked up a dog today that is micro-chipped with your details on
but I'm in Manchester.
Sophie's registered home is on the south coast.
Lorna wants to find out how she's ended up 250 miles away in a Manchester flat.
She's been left abandoned in a property for a week.
Can you remember what the lady's name was who you sold her to?
OK. Thank you. Bye.
That lady I've just spoken to lives in Dorset and a couple of months ago she gave this dog away
using an internet site and she gave her dog to a lady who lives in Salisbury,
which is obviously still quite a way away.
I've just left it with her to have a look to see if she's got any name or address or contact details.
This person in Salisbury may have lost her.
But, for a pedigree dog like Sophie, there may also be a more sinister explanation.
At the minute, there's quite a high rate of dogs being stolen,
particularly young female pedigrees,
obviously to be used for breeding, showing, etc.
It's quite a common thing to have dogs stolen and this might be
what's happened with this dog and then she's ended up here.
Within minutes, Sophie's original owner phones back but the trail runs cold again.
Oh, have you not?
I've got her with me at the minute, she's been left for a bit without food or water and we don't know why.
OK, thank you very much. Bye.
Unfortunately she hasn't got any name, address or contact number
for the lady that she re-homed this dog to.
Sophie's just a year old, but it seems she's already been passed from owner to owner. For now, though,
there are more pressing concerns. It's time for vet, Gus McKenzie, to check her over.
-This is the dog that I rang you about.
-Oh, yeah. Hello.
Abandoned in a property for a couple of days at least that we know of.
-She's quite pleased to see us!
-Yes, she is, she's a lovely girl!
-Isn't she, eh!
Okey-dokey, let's have a look.
Sophie was rescued from a bedroom
with sharp objects and empty bleach bottles.
Lorna was worried she may have eaten something that could cause her harm.
She's excited, so she's a bit red and giddy about her eyes,
a little bit of a runny nose, but no sign of any discharge of pus or anything like that.
Gus checks Sophie's ears, lungs and heart, and thankfully, everything seems OK.
Very empty tummy here.
But days without food have taken their toll.
You can feel her spine, we can feel her ribs,
but she's got quite reasonable lumber muscles there.
Come on, Sophie, on the scales, all four feet,
don't be embarrassed!
She's certainly in my opinion underweight but not drastically so.
She needs to put on a couple of kilos, I would guess.
I think we should probably take a blood sample as a routine precaution
-and make sure there's no reason for her to be as thin as she is.
Throughout all the procedures, Sophie remains good-natured
and even during her blood test is enjoying Lorna's company.
What we're looking for is general health profile, see what sort of liver and kidney function we've got.
If she's been deprived of food for a significant period of time, sometimes we will pick up
a mild anaemia, sometimes we'll pick up low blood protein levels.
We'll collect some routine faecal samples to see whether she's got any worms or intestinal infection.
Yeah, I think she's hungry now, I think we'll give her something to eat.
With the health checks over, Sophie's finally given a much-needed meal.
I would say she is quite hungry, yeah.
She's ate that quick, didn't take very long!
For a dog to eat like, she was definitely hungry,
and now she's thirsty.
There you are.
Go on, girl.
Although Sophie's been rescued and is now safe, what she really needs is a loving home.
I'm hoping that the owner will eventually come forward.
I have left a note at the property
which basically gives the owner 14 days to get in touch, and if after those 14 days we don't hear anything,
we will start to look at actually taking ownership of this animal and getting her re-homed,
which I'm sure she will get a home very quickly because she's a very sweet, adorable Boxer.
Lorna's committed to finding out who left Sophie starving, and why,
but if no-one comes forward with a proper explanation,
Sophie could be looking for her fourth owner in just two months.
Still to come, Sophie's future's uncertain and all she wants is to be loved.
Hopefully, Sophie's owner will come forward and we'll reunite them.
If that doesn't happen, she's very sweet-natured, very playful,
even after what she's been through, so we shouldn't have a problem finding a home for her.
Earlier in the programme I helped capture some red squirrels that had been bred in captivity in Kent.
We drove through the night to transport them to Anglesey
where conservationists are hoping to establish a safe colony.
Now it's daylight you can see why they chose Anglesey as a fortress for red squirrels.
It's an island and the Menai Straits behind me provide natural defences
to help keep the greys at bay,
but now there is some light, I want to get back into the woods
to see if I can actually see some reds in the wild.
Last night, Craig Shuttleworth and I introduced two red squirrels into a safe pen in these lush woods
but red squirrels are extremely skittish animals.
With the stress of the journey and a strange location,
there are concerns they may not have survived the night.
Tom, if we just hold on a minute, I'll explain what we'll do now.
The animals have been in since last night I don't want to cause a lot of unnecessary disturbance
so we'll go down and have a quick look, see if we can see any of the animals out.
If we don't, I'll come back tomorrow and have a look
and if the animals aren't out again tomorrow,
then ultimately I'll be forced to open up the boxes and have a look.
It's quite a nervous moment for you, isn't it?
It certainly is for me cos we don't actually know how they are. They could be dead!
They could be, they could be. It's always very nerve-wracking.
Probably this is the worst part of the whole experience of moving the animals -
did they survive the trip and are they OK?
With mounting trepidation, I follow Craig to the pen.
Luckily, the first signs are promising.
You can see one on the roof, so one of them's definitely out.
And as we watch, our second one comes into view.
They're both out, that's absolutely thrilling.
There are two, and they're both there and they both survived. Great!
How does their behaviour look to you?
Good, very relaxed, that's important.
It's really good to be able to see them here in the cage looking, as Craig said, relaxed and eating
and they will be part of the foundation of a new colony of red squirrels here on Anglesey.
Our squirrels will have to stay in these pens for another month.
When they're finally released, it's hoped they'll link up
with all the others and create a sustainable group,
but our small introduction here is part of a much wider picture on Anglesey.
Elsewhere on the island, reds are already starting to flourish,
although it's taken extreme and controversial measures for them to do so.
What's the history of squirrels in this wood?
Five years ago if we'd come here, it would be teeming with greys.
-Yeah, but we've removed them all, we've killed them.
Right. That's necessary, you believe, for the introduction of the reds?
Absolutely essential, we can't have the two species together.
Greys not only compete for food with reds, but they also give them a virus, which is deadly to the reds,
so unfortunately, it's a necessary evil.
A lot of people are pretty uneasy with this idea of killing wild animals.
The majority of people on the island are very, very supportive, they want to see reds back.
Now they are coming back, one way of making sure they stay
is to give them plenty to eat, and I've come armed with a bucket of their favourite food.
Tom, this is the feed hopper we've got.
-There's a bit in there, but they could always do with more. How does it work?
They learn very quickly that you push this lid up, so they come, push the lid up and they go inside to get food
and if you look very closely, you'll see caught along the edge there
is bright red hair from the red squirrels.
Proof that it's squirrels that are getting in there.
Yeah, I can see that. There's a nice clump just there.
But this feeding station also has another purpose, which allows an incredible insight
into exactly how many red squirrels are here.
I'll put in some of their favourite titbits.
Any chance if we retreat, they'd come down and we'd see them?
-None, I'm afraid.
The way that we monitor this, we've got a remote camera which we use, which is on a trigger.
-When the squirrel comes here, the camera is triggered and it records.
and keen to see what's been shot.
And this is on all the time, is it?
It's on all the time, yep, 24 hours a day it records.
It records for a minute and then it goes off for a minute and records again the next time it's triggered.
It sounds incredibly hi-tech for looking at squirrels, but those movement sensors, where is that?
That's behind you, there, and it works the same way as a standard security light.
So this thing here, it sees movement over there?
-And have you got good stuff?
-Some fantastic footage.
-Can you prove it?
-Yeah, come and have a look.
Right, I will. With such sensitive equipment, getting the camera out of
its protective shield is tricky, but when we do get to see the footage, it's worth the wait!
-There you go!
Perfect condition, lovely, lovely. This is the benefit of using the camera.
The hair that we've seen on the hopper shows that an animal's been.
With the camera, you get to see it. You can see its movements, you can see its condition.
-It's a good way of monitoring them.
There she goes, in the box.
From the size of her, she looks like she's an expert at getting in there!
That's a healthy-looking, plump squirrel.
Yeah, yeah, very good. Here's another animal, this is different.
This is a male, very dark tail.
-Oh, yes, much greyer.
-You see, so this is a male.
How many different characters, how many different individuals are there that you can spot on this,
or have you not had enough time to check it out?
You can recognise individuals.
There's five animals which we can recognise.
Occasionally you get squirrels that I'm not quite sure about,
but these ones are distinctive and you can't...
there's no other animal that looks like him that's in this wood at the moment.
-Certainly no greys!
-There are no greys, no.
They are magical creatures, aren't they?
The information collected on these films is invaluable in monitoring the red squirrels on Anglesey.
The number caught on "Candid Camera" may be relatively small at the moment,
but Craig and his team are hoping they'll become a cast of thousands.
Finally today, we're back to Sophie, the neglected boxer,
and the mystery of why she ended up abandoned in a Manchester flat.
Lorna Bracegirdle discovered Sophie was registered to a house on
the south coast, but two months ago, Sophie had been given away to a new owner in Salisbury,
and now Lorna doesn't know how the dog ended up 200 miles away in Manchester!
Sophie is being cared for by the RSPCA, leaving Lorna to try and solve the puzzle.
Sophie the boxer has been passed from pillar to post and needs a stable home,
but before anyone can begin to care for her again, she's got a number of problems that need sorting out.
James Ratcliff and Sam Williams are in charge of her care.
Just gonna give her a quick health-check, vaccination, and then we're gonna give her a bath.
Not quite emaciated, but she's very lean.
On vet's advice, I'm gonna put some ointment in her eyes.
Her eyes are quite red and sore.
Sam will take her down and we'll bath her.
As well as being underfed, Sophie has developed a skin complaint called mange.
She needs regular chemical baths to cure it.
It's quite strong, so we have to be careful not to get it in her eyes or her ears.
This should help to kill any mites that are still on the skin. Good girl.
And despite her troubles, Sophie's good nature is winning everyone over.
Bearing in mind that she's been abandoned, she's really a sweetheart.
Good girl. What will happen is after she's had this bath, we don't rinse this off,
it stays on the skin and she's left to dry naturally.
At the moment we've got enough to do two treatments.
After that, depending on how bad the skin complaint is,
she'll see the vet again and he'll decide whether or not she needs any more,
and her face seems to be the worst part that's been affected, but then boxers tend to have
a lot of problems anyway, if they're not cared for properly. And that's it, she's done.
She can just go back to kennels now and we'll let her dry off under some nice warm lamps.
Come on, Sophie. Good girl.
After her bath, it's time to get back to the kennels for dinner.
Staff are giving Sophie specially prepared meals to help boost her weight.
Because Sophie's a little bit underweight,
we weigh out all the feed for her, just to make sure she gets the right amount of nutrition.
She's on slightly more feeds every day than a normal dog would be.
If you over-feed a dog that's underweight too much,
it usually causes more problems, so what we'll do is until she reaches the right weight,
we will feed her three or four times a day.
What we'll do is we'll weigh her every week and once she reaches that weight
then we'll reassess how much food she's on, what sort of food she's on, and how many feeds every day.
But although she's given every opportunity to eat, Sophie doesn't seem interested in food.
As you can see, Sophie hasn't got a very good appetite.
We tend to find that dogs that are quite underweight or emaciated have poor appetites,
so it's a case of little and often, so they build up
and get used to having food in their stomach.
Hopefully Sophie's owner will come forward and we'll reunite them, but if that doesn't happen,
Sophie will go onto an assessment with us and we will find out what sort of dog she is,
what temperament she's got and then we can find the right owner for her.
She's very sweet-natured, she's very playful, even after what she's been through,
so we shouldn't have a problem finding a home for her.
And finding somewhere settled to stay is what Sophie needs.
She's off her food and listless in her cage.
Stuck in a kennel is the last place she wants to be.
A month has passed since Sophie was rescued
and there's been a big development in her story.
Lorna's discovered that the boxer has had three homes in just four months,
moving from Dorset to Salisbury and then finally she was given away to a new owner in Manchester.
Lorna has also solved the mystery of why Sophie was abandoned in a dirty and dangerous bedroom.
The owner went away on holiday and did pay two people to look after her,
but that seems to have gone wrong somewhere, because she was left for at least two days
that we know of in that house on her own.
Sophie was left in a tidy room, but let down by the dogsitters,
out of boredom and hunger, she ripped up the bags of rubbish that were destined for the tip.
When she was found, she was underweight and had mange, but now Sophie's almost back to full health.
She's put on a bit of weight, but because she's so active and jumpy because she's such a young boxer,
very giddy, she still will be quite lean. Her skin's doing really well,
she's still on medicated baths but she's still tested positive for it this time,
positive for mange, so she'll have to continue these baths for another month
and then have repeat skin scrapes and hopefully this time, we should have got rid of it,
so until we've got rid of that mite, that skin won't improve,
but other than that, she's a fit and healthy dog,
full of beans and loves everyone, so she's doing really well.
Lorna's satisfied that Sophie's owner is not responsible
for abandoning his dog, and she can now go home.
From the time Lorna has spent with Sophie, she can understand why her owner is so keen to have her back.
Sophie's a lovely dog, she's got a great temperament, there's not an ounce of badness in her at all.
She loves everyone, chasing balls, running about, she's full of energy.
She's just the perfect dog, really!
And Sophie's owner has learnt a valuable lesson -
next time he goes on holiday, he must ensure his pet is cared for properly.
If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection,
remember there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call around the clock.
They are the people we meet on Animal 24/7.
Next time - no way out. Three felines locked in a filthy flat.
I've never actually seen anything quite like this and I can't believe that a living thing is actually here.
Investigating claims that racing greyhounds are being abused.
The initial call was about them being locked up 24/7, locked up in a shed.
Oh, no, not in a shed, no!
And rounding up 60 swans for their annual MOT.
With these things, you know they're wild animals, so anything can happen!
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Series following people who protect and work closely with wildlife and domestic animals.
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