23 June 2022

Hazelnut was just skin and bone. She looked too weak to go on. Like she’d already given up.  Without generous people like you, this story might have ended very differently.  

Four-year-old Hazelnut had seven new puppies. Seven hungry mouths to feed, when she could barely feed herself.  

This is the sad reality of irresponsible backyard breeding that our inspectors see every day.  We didn’t know how many litters Hazelnut had been forced to endure. But we did know this would be her last. No more pain. No more hunger. No more neglect. She was in safe hands thanks to you.  

          RSPCA rescue dog Hazelnut looking through fence with all her ribs visible.    Puppies in an esky prior to being rescued by RSPCA.

Inspector Florence rescued Hazelnut and her puppies that day and rushed them straight to an emergency vet for treatment. That’s where Hazelnut met vet nurse Kate–the pair formed a special bond (and Kate will be back later in the story).

Once stable, Hazelnut and her puppies, Heidi, Hallie, Harriet, Hippo, Hullabaloo, Honey and Hendrix, were transported to the RSPCA Animal Care Centre in Malaga.  

RSPCA WA vets found Hazelnut weighed a shocking 24kg. She should have been around 35kg.  Hazelnut was malnourished RSPCA rescue dog Hazelnut sitting in kennel. and anaemic, with a body score of just two out of nine.  We put her straight on a high-calorie diet of four small meals a day to build her strength.  It was a miracle that, aside from having worms, the puppies appeared to be in good health. Sweet Hazelnut must have been such a devoted mum to keep them strong despite her own neglect.  

Now it was her turn to feel love and care.  RSPCA WA’s staff and volunteers were determined to shower Hazelnut with affection, teach her how to play, and show her life was worth living. Along with her health struggles, Hazelnut was very under-socialised. She had likely never left the backyard in her previous home, and the littlest thing– like a leaf blowing along the ground–could frighten her out of her skin.

It was going to be an uphill battle to save her, but we weren’t going to give up like her owner had.  This sensitive girl has astounded us every day with her courage.  By her eighth week here she was brave enough to meet her first doggy friend. Go Hazelnut!  

When it was time to see how she’d cope in a foster home, emergency vet nurse, Kate, who’d helped save Hazelnut that first weekend, was more than willing to lend a helping paw.  Hazelnut settled beautifully into her foster home, and felt safe trying new things and building up her confidence. 

All the adorable pups have been adopted, and we hope gorgeous Hazelnut will get her wish for a forever family any day now.  YOU made her second chance possible. Thank you for giving Hazelnut hope.

          Hazelnut looking much healthier in RSPCA foster care.    Hazelnut snoozing on her bed in RSPCA foster care.

Read more happy rescue stories in the latest edition of Great and Small Magazine here.