A blind puppy has found a new home in time for his first Christmas after being abandoned alone in Hyde Park:
When he arrived at Battersea's rehoming centre, expert veterinary staff realised the three-month-old Rottweiler was completely blind - which may be why he had been abandoned in the park.
Thankfully despite having a rough start in his short life, he has now found himself a happy home in south-east London with new owner Suzanne and will now spend his first Christmas surrounded by a loving family.
Steve Craddock, Centre Manager at Battersea said: "We'll never know the real reason why young Oliver was abandoned, but it may have been because being blind would make it harder for a breeder to sell him to new owners.
"Dogs are amazing animals, and blind dogs are often very misunderstood. Although they may not be able to see, they can enjoy the world in different ways and will use their sense of smell to explore the world around them. Blind dogs are also very quick to map new environments and so can easily adjust to a home setting."
Steve went on: "We'd always urge anyone with a puppy that they can no longer look after to bring them into a rescue centre like Battersea. This way, they'll be safe and will have the best chance of finding the perfect home, just like Oliver has done with Suzanne. There's never any excuse for abandoning a helpless animal - rescues are here to help."
Despite being blind, the young dog has learnt to map out his new home and is finding his way around - he even brings his new owner Suzanne his food bowl whenever he starts to feel a bit peckish, earning him the new name Oliver Twist.
Suzanne says: "Although Oliver is blind, he's such a confident boy! He's now fully settled, and with the help of his new big sister, Izzy, it took him no time at all to happily find his way around his new home.
"He's really bonded with Izzy, and the two now spend all of their time together; they love to go on country walks together and then have a snuggle in the evening. They're the best of friends.
"He's such a big character and he really goes to show that while rescue dogs aren't always perfect, they are definitely worth it."
Battersea needs support from the public to continue to be here for vulnerable animals like Oliver. To make a donation please visit donate.battersea.org.uk.
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