A LONG-suffering terrier has been found abandoned in Pinehurst after months of neglect left him with infections, skin disease and parasites.

The dog, whom carers have named Rupert, was found on December 10 after wandering into a garden on Whitworth Road, and animal welfare officers have placed him with a vet for ongoing treatment, to which he is responding well.

They say it is likely a prosecution will be brought against his owners under the Animal Welfare Act because of the level and duration of his suffering.

Officers are investigating his origins as he has suffered numerous ailments.

Alison Waine, animals officer at Swindon Council, said: “He was in a very poor condition when we found him. He is half bald all over his body, along with mange, which is a parasite.

“The mange itself is very treatable but has caused a secondary skin infection, and he would have been extremely uncomfortable when he was found. He is being treated for mange and ringworm, and had an ear infection which was giving him vertigo. His teeth have deteriorated quite badly and he is only partially sighted because he has quite severe cataracts.

“The vets have said they will support suffering charges under the Animal Welfare Act, because it would have taken months or even years for him to have got into this condition.”

Rupert could be between seven or 12 years of age but his condition makes it difficult to be sure.

“He has responded really well to treatment and will shortly be going to Blue Cross in Burford,” added Alison. “He is responding so well that it looks as though he can be made better and found a new home, which is great news.

“We need to try and find out who his owners were. Strangely, he was found with a little coat on, which could be for a number of reasons. It could be a case of out of sight and out of mind, or done deliberately to hide his condition, but we have no idea where he has come from.

“He was found after he just wandered into someone’s front garden. While he couldn’t have wandered too far, he could have been brought in from a different area and dumped there.

“He is a really lovely, sweet little dog, and thankfully his temperament has not been badly affected. The kennel have just told us that he is now starting to take an interest in his surroundings again and wagged his tail for the first time.”

If anyone has any information about Rupert’s history and where he came from they can call Alison on 01793 445500.

If anyone is interested in adopting Rupert or donating to his care they are asked to call the Blue Cross on 0300 777 1897.

If anyone is concerned about the health of their own animal and what to do they need to call a vet for advice. Vets can also give info about agencies that can help with medical bills.