Our impact Case studies and stories Teddy's Story When tiny Teddy arrived at the animal shelter, he was shivering. Not because he was cold. He was so frightened. But you could tell he was being brave. He must have known that he was finally going to get the help he needed. You can become a Guardian Angel this Christmas and help care for and protect animals like Teddy. By becoming a Guardian Angel, you can make animals' lives better. For all the abandoned animals at Christmas. Teddy was one of five dogs at a property in Perth. He was the smallest, and also one of the oldest. The others were all much bigger than him. And where they lived they didn’t have much to do with their owners. They were never allowed inside. Food was provided most days, but not always. And Teddy had to fight for his share. Being small was challenging enough, but his advanced age also meant he didn’t always have the energy to protect what little food he was given. When one of the bigger dogs got out, a Ranger spotted him and followed him home. The Ranger noticed several dogs in the yard. She also saw the dogs weren’t being well cared for. There was no shelter in the back yard. And the only water bowl she could see was full of green slime. Some of the dogs were thin, and another small dog had very matted fur. She didn’t see Teddy, but he made sure he was heard, yapping loudly, hoping for some attention. The Ranger called the RSPCA and reported what she had seen. When RSPCA Inspector Alison arrived, she knew immediately the dogs needed better care. But the owner was nowhere to be found. Inspector Alison left food and water each time she called in, but it would take four visits before she met the owner. Inspector Alison spoke to the owner and told her how important it was that all the dogs got enough nutritious food every day. Inspector Alison reminded her that they needed fresh, clean water daily, too. The owner assured the Inspector that she would feed the dogs properly and give them fresh water every day. When she was talking to the owner, Inspector Alison saw little Teddy out the corner of her eye, in an enclosed area next to the house. He was an older Silky Terrier. He had large bald patches over his back. The little fur he did have was dirty and matted. And Teddy was scratching all over his body. Teddy’s owner said she’d noticed him scratching for some time, but she couldn’t afford to take him to the vet. She decided to surrender Teddy to Inspector Alison. When Inspector Alison approached, Teddy cowered in fear. It seemed he wasn’t used to interacting with people. Inspector Alison said: “It broke my heart to see little Teddy left in such a pitiful state. I knew we had to help and was so glad the owner decided to surrender him, so that he could get the care he needed.” Teddy’s fear slowly turned to bravery. Inspector Alison and her colleagues are confronted with situations like this every day. When he arrived at the RSPCA Animal Care Centre, Teddy was examined straight away by the vet team. Teddy’s skin was sparsely covered, and what little fur he had was severely matted. The knots of his fur would have been pulling on his delicate skin, causing sharp pain every time Teddy tried to move. He also had a heavy flea burden. Teddy’s kneecap on his right hind leg was popping out—a condition called patella luxation. It’s a common condition in small dogs, and it made it uncomfortable for Teddy to use that leg. He will need to have surgery to fix the problem and avoid further pain. Teddy’s treatment began with a clipping of his matted fur. Almost instantly, the pain of moving was gone. But this was just the first step in his long road to recovery. Teddy had a routine blood test, but the vets also performed an ultrasound—they had to make sure there were no other underlying medical issues that he was suffering from. When the blood test results came back, they showed some underlying conditions that would need further investigation. And possibly more treatment. Teddy is doing well. He has become more used to having people around—people who care about him and want to see him happy. He has had a few lumps removed—thankfully they were benign. And he has also been desexed and had some dental work done. He’s doing well for an 11-year-old dog. But Teddy will need still more treatment to end his pain. It is our hope tiny Teddy will find a permanent, loving home in time for Christmas. But not all the animals in our care will be so lucky. Some will be with us for a long time because we are prosecuting their owners. These animals must remain in our care until the court cases are resolved. Other animals will still be undergoing rehabilitation. Some will be recovering from medical conditions or surgeries to help them regain their health. The behavior team will be kept busy throughout the holiday season, too. They work with every animal in our care to give them the best chance of finding their ‘furever’ home, helping them to overcome their fears and anxiety. Helping them to trust people again. Just like Teddy has.