When an unsuspecting member of the public came across a small dog cowering in a bush in Harlesden, London last year, they were shocked at the state of her.
The fawn and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier was obviously scared, significantly underweight and bleeding from many wounds; and to make matters worse, there were indications she had recently given birth.
Although she was lactating and her vagina was unusually enlarged, there wasn’t a puppy – or an owner – anywhere in sight.
Luckily for the poor dog, the person who found her took her straight into Mayhew, where she was immediately assessed by vets and Animal Welfare Officers.
They estimated her age to be approximately four-years-old based on the poor condition of her teeth, which together with her famished appearance suggested that her diet had long been lacking essential nutrients.
The team quickly fell in love with her, and decided on the name Jayda.
After Jayda had received a full health check and dental treatment, the vets realised that her true age was in fact only half of their original estimate. At just over two-years-old, Jayda had clearly experienced more suffering in her short life than we could bear to imagine.
Her left ear and right eye both showed signs of infection, and she had extremely painful looking scratches and cuts all over her head, neck and shoulders. A distinct mark across her muzzle also indicated that her mouth had regularly been taped shut.
During her initial examinations, Jayda was extremely nervous and needy – she had likely been hurt by her previous owner, and was noticeably jumpy in reaction to any sudden movements.
Because she had been starved of affection, she latched on to Mayhew staff as soon as she became familiar with them. She quickly began to trust the team members who cared for her, and reacted well to enrichment and socialisation efforts.
One person in particular fell completely in love with Jayda at first sight. Mayhew’s Fundraising Officer Duschanca Singh was on the lookout for a special companion, and adored Jayda from the very first moment they met. Jayda also quickly bonded with Duschanca, and the pair became inseparable.
After Jayda had fully recovered and been neutered, the team knew there was only one place she wanted to call home.
Happily, Duschanca was the perfect match for Jayda, and now regularly takes her back to Mayhew to visit – where she is spoilt by everyone who helped her find her happy ending.
“I fell in love with Jayda the moment I met her, and I’m amazed at the progress she has made in the past seven months,” said Duschanca. “Her scars were signs of a bad start in life, but she has shown so much resilience. She is an extremely clever and affectionate dog, and entertains me every day with her antics. She loves playing with other dogs in the park, and is learning to play with toys as well. She’ll also do anything for food!”
Most of Jayda’s fur has now grown back, and her various wounds have healed – making her past nothing but a distant memory. However, some echoes of her trauma are still being felt, as she still suffers from the occasional ear infection, and she is unable to wear a harness or winter coat around her shoulders due to the distress it causes.