The Dogs Trust have revealed heartbreaking photos of an abandoned dog whose hair was so matted his leg had become attached to his ear.
The six-year-old Lhasa Apso, who was named Soldier by his rescuers, was found wandering around the streets of Leeds by a dog warden.
The dog’s owner has still not been found and it is thought that this dog had been completely neglected and not groomed in months.
Dog warden Harriet Chapman alerted the dog to the RSPCA earlier this month. She said: “The dog was matted like no dog I had ever seen before.
“The matts were so bad they were pulling his skin off around the eye and his front leg was matted to his ear.
“I believe he was either dumped in this area or has come from a home nearby as I don’t think he could have wandered far in this state.”
Soldier was taken to the Dogs Trust in Leeds who were given the task of freeing him from his matted hair.
The helpless dog had to be anaesthetised before the veterinary staff could remove the masses of hair and free him from his pain. They kept him for a further three days.
“This poor dog must have been left without any grooming for months to get into such a state.
“I can easily say this is the worst case of matted fur that I’ve ever seen. When you first see the pictures of little Soldier you can’t even tell he’s a dog, let alone what breed he is.
“To allow an animal to get into this condition is absolutely shocking – there is no excuse for it.
“We’d be keen to hear from anyone who may know where Soldier has come from to contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 so we can investigate.”
Soldier is now in a foster home.
Dogs Trust Leeds rehoming centre manager, Amanda Sands, said:”In 30 years of working at Dogs Trust I have never seen anything so horrific and heartbreaking.
“He wasn’t recognisable as a dog, it was unbelievable.
“We really didn’t know if he was going to make it but we are relieved to say that he has started to eat and we are hoping that he will continue to improve, but it is very early days.”
We hope one day Solider gets the life he truly deserves!