Rescue dog wins RSPCA award
A Yorkshire terrier who was one of 204 dogs kept in squalid conditions in a shed in Sussex has won an RSPCA award.
Sweet Pea, who turns three in January and now lives in St Leonards, was found in April 2006 after the owner of a property in Hurstpierpoint died.
She and the other dogs were starving and shut in plastic carrier boxes filled with urine and faeces. But just 20 months on, Sweet Pea has been named the South East's RSCPA Rescue Dog of the Year.
She now joins five other regional winners in a public vote for the national title, to be announced in November. Sweet Pea has lived with Melanie Reid and her family in St Leonards since June 2006.
The conditions inside the shed were described as "horrific"
She was cared for by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust before being rehomed.
During a three-month rehabilitation period, Sweet Pea was spayed and micro-chipped and had operations to remove her rotten teeth. She had been trapped in a dark environment with several other puppies, and Mrs Reid said she "looked so very vulnerable" when she was brought to her home.
"She sat in the corner of the room looking very sad, but within 10 minutes she was curled up on my young son's lap fast asleep," she added. "She has been going to dog training for a year and although progress is slow she is doing really well."
Mrs Reid, her husband and their three children also have two other Yorkshire terriers, two cats, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and three rabbits.