Three-legged dog looking for home after owner left him with fractured skull

A dog who had to have a leg amputated because of the horrendous abuse his owner put him through is looking for a new home.

Rocco suffered horrific injuries including a broken leg, fractured ribs, skull and cheek bone from owner Craig Dolling from Brixham, Devon.

Luckily, Rocco was rescued by the RSPCA and is now looking for a loving family to take him in.

Andy Cook, behaviour and welfare advisor at RSPCA Brent Knoll, told Devon Live : “Rocco went through such a huge and traumatic ordeal before he was rescued by RSPCA. It really is amazing that he has such a wonderful and loving personality.

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“Rocco really seems to appreciate the contact and company of other dogs. As far as we are aware he has not lived with them previously but we would be more than happy to consider him living with other dogs in future, providing they are compatible on introduction.

“He is very affectionate and craves social contact but can struggle when left so any new owner would need to continue with general training to reassure him and help with this.”

The team at the rescue centre also feel the loving and friendly dog could live with a family with older children.

Rocco came into the care of the animal welfare charity after the RSPCA and police went to his former owners’ address in September 2019 after reports of an injured dog.

Dolling, 26, of Brixham, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Rocco when he appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates' Court.

He was given a four month suspended sentence and banned from keeping all animals for life. He can apply to lift that disqualification in five years. He was also told he must do up to 10 days anger management with probation and 60 hours unpaid work.

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Natasha Hilson, 25, who did not cause injuries to Rocco, was sentenced last week for failing to seek veterinary care for Rocco while he was suffering from his injuries.

She must carry out 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 240 hours unpaid work. She was also disqualified from owning any animal for 15 years, with no application to lift this for five years, and must pay £200 costs.

Both claimed Rocco had injured his leg more than a month earlier while trying to jump over a gate and denied mistreating him, although text messages between the two revealed what had happened after Dolling admitted harming Rocco after Hilson demanded to know why he’s sustained injuries.

Dolling told his partner: "I just went mad on him earlier. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it."

Hilson said the dog was "only a baby" and hadn't done anything to deserve such treatment.

Dolling answered: "You know what I get. I'm a nasty c**t."

A police officer who went to the address said the injured state of the dog was "heartbreaking" and he had never seen such a badly injured animal before.

Rocco had multiple cuts, dislocated femur, swelling, two large head wounds that were so severe vets were unable to examine his right eye, a fractured tooth, cheek, three fractured ribs, and a fracture to the right hock which was several weeks old and so severe the leg had to be amputated.

Anyone who thinks they can offer happiness to Rocco should contact the team on 01278 782671 during opening hours, or see the website for more information.

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