By Charlotte Nisbet
A paralysed rescue dog – who was dumped in a rubbish tip – now never stops smiling after finding his fur-ever home.
Benji – a Tibetan Terrier mix – was found in Romania and had been almost beaten to death before he was rescued.
With a broken spine, the pooch was clinging to life in a rubbish tip before he was found and taken for specialised veterinary care.
Benji underwent a double amputation in a bid to give him the best possible chance of independence and has since been adopted.
Owner, Philippa Esson, 44, had watched Benji’s recovery online and when his first UK adoption fell through, she knew she had to give him a new home.
Benji, who now lives in London, can be seen smiling with his new family as he goes for walkies using a custom-made wheelchair.
The mum-of-three said: “Benji is such a happy boy and he’s actually always smiling.
“He’s so friendly and loves life on his wheels.
“It’s hard to believe that he was beaten almost to death and then dumped in a rubbish bin.
“He was left to die before he was rescued by a charity who ensured he was given a second chance at life.”
Benji was rescued by Flori’s Friends Rescue – a dedicated charity who specialise in rehoming abused and neglected animals in Britain and Europe.
Philippa, who rescued Benji 12 months ago, said: “My daughter, Isabelle, 17, was following Benji’s recovery story online.
“His injuries were so severe that he was paralysed from the waist down.
“The rescue charity tried to fundraise to save his life and we donated to help aid his recovery.
“Isabelle, as well as my two sons, Joseph, 15, and Noah, nine, had always wanted a dog and when Benji’s adoption fell through last year, we knew we had to give him a home.”
Despite having no back legs Philippa says that Benji is the happiest dog and is well known in their area.
She added: “Everyone knows him when he’s out on his walk.
“Benji is like a little local celebrity and he loves the attention.
“He’s very spoilt now and although he started out as being very timid, he’s full of energy now and loves running on his wheels.”
The family hope that their story shows others why dogs with disabilities deserve a chance.
Philippa said: “Benji has so much life to give.
“We are unsure how old he is but we think he’s about three now.
“We feel so lucky to have him as part of our family and he absolutely loves the kids.
“There’s lots of dogs with disabilities that deserve a second chance.
“Benji adapted to his wheels really well and he enjoys walks just as much as any other four legged dog.”