The curious case of Benjamin Button

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A DOG which was left in an appalling state under a hedge is on its way to a full recovery.

The Shih Tzu puppy, aged just six months old, was found close to the Willow Veterinary Surgery in Newport Pagnell before being taken to Astonlee Veterinary Surgery by Milton Keynes Council’s dog warden, on Friday, January 21.

The dog was suffering from a severe skin condition that could have seen him put down, but just days before that happened he was given a new lease of life by Astonlee’s practice manager, Barbara Keeling.

She said: “The dog hasn’t been mistreated at all. It seems to me that he got a skin condition and the owners maybe couldn’t afford the vet’s bills. Pet insurance for this little guy would have been around £20 to £25 per month. Maybe more people need to know that to stop it happening again.”

The dog is now legally owned by Barbara and she has renamed it Benjamin Button – a name she feels suits it perfectly.

She said: “I wanted to give him a posh name as they are that kind of dog. I’m going to give him my best shot. I have three other dogs and if, when he is feeling ready, he gets on with them I will take him home.

“If for some reason he doesn’t get on with the others then somebody will be getting a perfectly healthy, nine-month-old dog. I’m sure he’ll pull through now. It will take some time but he’s on the right track.”

Barbara is now hoping that the owners of the dog can be prosecuted, not for mistreatment but for abandoning the animal.

She said: “Somebody must know someone else who had a dog a little while ago and now mysteriously doesn’t have one. No animal deserves to be just thrown out in the cold.

“They could have taken him in to the vets and said they had found him themselves, even if it was a lie. At least he wouldn’t have been just dumped under a hedge.”