- Dave, an 18-month-old poodle cross, was dumped at roadside in January
- Was among nine filthy dogs with matted coats abandoned in Hampshire
- Taken into care by RSPCA where workers nursed animals back to health
- Animal lover Jeanette McDowell, 67, has now offered Dave a new home
An abandoned poodle whose hair was so matted and dirty that vets were unable to work out its breed has been given a new home.
Dave, an 18-month-old poodle cross, was among nine dogs which were found dumped in Winchester, Hampshire, covered in mud and with fur so matted that it blocked their vision.
The animals, which were abandoned at the side of a road in January, were taken in by the RSPCA where workers spent hours painstakingly shaving each dog and nursing them back to health.
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Animal lover Jeanette McDowell has come forward to offer Dave (pictured together) a new life at her home in East Wittering, West Sussex after being moved by the news that the poodle cross was dumped at a roadside
Dave (pictured left) was one of nine poodle crosses which were found covered in thick mud and with hair so matted that they could not see after being dumped at the side of the road in Winchester, Hampshire, in January
Now, after months of being looked after by volunteers, animal lover Jeanette McDowell has come forward to offer Dave a new life at her home in East Wittering, West Sussex.
The 67-year-old retired nurse said she was so appalled by the horrific images she saw of the dogs that she wanted to help out.
She said: 'I saw the news report about the dumped dogs near Winchester and I just wept when I saw the condition they were in.
'I couldn't believe how a noble animal like a poodle could be harmed and mistreated as much as they had.
'I wanted to help so I called up the RSPCA to enquire but I was told that they were all gone.
'I thought this was a shame but I was happy the dogs had all been found a new home.
'I went away for a couple of weeks to Ethiopia and when I returned I heard on the radio that two of the dogs had been moved to Chichester and were still looking for a home.
'As soon as I could I called the centre to see if I could come down and meet the dogs.
'When I got there I was introduced to Dave and my first thought was wow what a big dog but I thought he was a beautiful animal and I wanted to give him a good home.'
After being found dumped on the street, Dave was taken to the Mount Noddy RSPCA centre with another of the brood but found it difficult to interact with other dogs and humans.
It took rescuers around three hours to shave each dog, and so terrified were the animals of being touched that vets fear they may have been beaten by their owners.
Mrs McDowell added: 'The staff at the centre told me that Dave was very difficult when he first came to them.
The 67-year-old retired nurse said she was so appalled by the horrific images she saw of the dogs that she wanted to help. She said: 'I will take every day as it comes, he was completely wild so he has come so far'
Shocking footage of abandoned dogs roaming the roads
'He gets nervous around other dogs and when they tried to walk him, he would nip their bums as he hated being on a lead.
'After I decided that I would like to adopt Dave I started coming to the centre every day for two weeks so that he could get used to me.
'At first he was timid and wouldn't take any treats off me but then I discovered that he likes chopped liver and he started warming to me.
'Now he is a lot better and he will walk beside me and listen to what I have to say.
'Fun is still a feeling that he doesn't show often but with what he has been through I'm sure it'll just take time.
'I have found out that he has a fear for vans and cars which makes me think that he has had bad experience with vehicles in the past.
'I will take every day as it comes, he was completely wild so he has come so far already.
'I have had poodles as pets before and I loved the breed and I know how fun and smart they can be.
'I am sure in time Dave will find the happiness that has been absent in his early life.'
More than £4,000 was raised in donations to help pay for the care of the dogs, after members of the public were moved by their plight.
All of the nine dogs rescued by the RSCPA were nurtured back to health before being micro-chipped and neutered, and many have now found new homes.
Susi Carter, RSPCA kennel supervisor, said: 'When Dave first came to us he was so timid he would not interact with anyone, dogs or humans.
'He has come such a long way since being with us. I am delighted he has got the happy ending he deserves.'