By Alex Matthews
An abandoned dog battled back from the brink of death after she was discovered weighing little more than a third of her ideal weight.
Elsa the French mastiff was skeletal when was found in Corngreaves Nature Reserve in Cradley Heath, West Midlands shortly before Christmas.
She was given her name by rescue staff after she was ‘frozen’ when a member of the public spotted her.
The desperately thin dog was taken in by Animal House Rescue Charity in Sandwell, West Mids, which launched an urgent fundraising appeal to help with vet bills.
Elsa, who at the time weighed just 38lbs when she was found, was given emergency treatment by Your Vets in Smethwick.
Now Elsa has amazingly recovered to a healthier weight of 75lbs and is hoping to find a new home, just one month after being just hours from death.
Lin Reeves, from the Animal House Rescue Charity, said: “She is nothing short of a miracle. The recovery she has made is truly remarkable, especially as it’s in such a short amount of time.
“I can’t think of any other dog that could have done it. It goes to show how strong she is.
“It was terrible when she came to us. The state she was in was completely shocking.
“The vets had her padded up to her eyeballs to stop her getting pressure sores because she was so thin.
“The amount of support we have had for her has been incredible. We’ve had donates from Germany, Belgium, South Africa, China and even Australia.
“I’ve never known anything like it.”
Over 400 fans of the resilient dog, thought to be three or four years old, were able to see her at a meet and greet at Your Vets after her story went viral.
Sue Hodges, of Animal House Rescue Charity, said: “We invited people to come down and meet her following the story, which has gone worldwide.
“We had a lot of people who said they wished they could come and be with her so we decided to invite them in.
“She’s doing absolutely fabulously. She wagged her tail the while time until she fell asleep.
“She is beautiful. Everyone has fallen in love with her.
“Elsa is such a happy dog now and is always wagging her tail. She eventually fell asleep at the event because of all the excitement!
“We would love to know who abandoned her like that. It would be nice to see justice done.”
When she arrived at the charity in December Elsa was malnourished and weighed 60lbs less than she should have done.
She was given emergency treatment, including round the clock monitoring, padding to stop her bones rubbing through her skin and dressings on her back paws to heal sores.
She is currently being fostered by a family in South Staffordshire, but the charity is hoping to find a permanent home for her soon.