A NEGLECTED elderly dog who was underweight with an untreated digestive problem has found a happy ending.

Butch, a 12-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, arrived at the Dogs Trust in Darlington in a poorly state but has now rediscovered his love for life after finding a new family in lockdown.

Butch was handed over to Dogs Trust Darlington at the start of the pandemic last March, by animal welfare services.

He was very underweight, with scabby skin and a suspected tumour.

The charity’s veterinary team wasn’t sure he would make it, and they conducted many scans and investigations to see what was wrong.

Thankfully nothing serious was detected aside from a manageable digestive problem.

Butch was put on a special diet and within a few months, he was a much happier and healthier dog.

Almost as soon as Butch was put up for adoption, he caught the eye of a couple from Fishburn who were looking for another dog as company for their own Staffie, Bella.

In May, Dogs Trust staff took Butch to meet the couple at their home as the centre was closed to the public and the meeting went so well, he never left.

Heather Clements, Butch’s new owner said: “It was love at first sight when we met Butch.

"He’s perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better dog. We initially kept Bella and Butch on their leads when they first met in our garden that day, but we soon took them off – they clicked straight away and were jumping around and licking each other.

"She absolutely adores him. We all do.”

Heather and her husband Marty have kept dogs for 35-years and normally have three or four at any one time.

They had recently lost their beloved Staffie Noah, and Heather said their home just didn’t feel normal having just one dog.

She added: “The Dogs Trust told me he was 12-years-old, but the way he runs around the garden, you would think he was a much younger dog. Maybe at the grand old age of 12, he’s just found a new love for life.”

Sue Embleton, Darlington rehoming centre manager, said: “Butch had certainly had a rough time of it before arriving at our centre but his journey has been nothing short of miraculous.

"He’s now healthy, happy and full of life and we are delighted that we could change his tale thanks to our amazing canine carers."