It was just their luck; not only had their car broken down, but it had done so right near a big heap of garbage. Suddenly, as the guys left their vehicle and walked towards the pile, something moved… and it was too big to be a rat. They quickly realized what it was, too, and when they did so, their stomachs dropped.
The two unnamed men in question were driving along a road in East Tilbury in Essex, England, on June 2, 2017. It’s unclear where they were going or why, but whatever the reason, it would prove a serendipitous trip. No doubt it didn’t seem like it at first, though.
That’s because their journey was interrupted when their vehicle experienced a fault, bringing them to a complete stop. With their progress on hold, the pair then got out of their vehicle and found themselves on a road called Low Street Lane. That, however, wasn’t all they found.
The guys also discovered that they’d stopped near an illegal dumping site – and a big one at that. And whoever the culprit was had taken advantage of the isolated location to dispose of all manner of waste. Presumably, the wrongdoer had tipped the waste out in the countryside so as to avoid the expense of paying for its removal.
Whatever the reason for the trash heap, it was a huge blight on the land. But it was safer than staying on the road, so the two men headed towards it. It was then that something amongst the debris caught their eye.
The guys saw movement in the trash heap. It must have been hard to work out what it was at first, but a closer look revealed its identity. Inspector Rebecca Benson from the RSPCA animal charity explained everything on the charity’s Essex Havering & Harold Hill branch Facebook page.
“[The men] spotted a brown and white dog curled up amongst the rubbish,” Benson said on June 5, 2017. The poor pooch was filthy and had apparently been abandoned at the fly-tipping site. Not only that, but the animal was also very ill.
The dog didn’t seem to have the strength to move very much. Furthermore, when the men offered it water, it didn’t accept – despite appearing to be dehydrated. The dog was so thin that its rescuers must have been shocked by its condition and therefore decided to summon help.
The RSPCA sent someone out to the site to find the dog. To be more specific, it was the aforementioned inspector Benson who went to retrieve the ailing animal. And after Benson had reached the site, the dog was identified as an 18-month-old female Saluki.
But although the dog – who would later be called Penny – was eventually located, she wasn’t easy to find. “When I arrived I couldn’t see her at first,” Benson said. Naturally, though, the inspector didn’t give up. “She was curled up behind a large pile of debris and rubbish.”
In the same way that the men who found the dog were shocked, Benson was also taken aback at the state that Penny was in. The dog was so ill, in fact, that she had collapsed on the ground. In Benson’s words, Penny “could only just manage to lift her head.”
“She was emaciated and very dehydrated, so I rushed her to a vet,” Benson explained. “[He] feared she may have some gastro problems. So she [remained] at the surgery for further monitoring, treatment and lots of TLC.” Meanwhile, the investigation into how Penny came to be at the trash heap was just beginning.
Despite the RSPCA’s best efforts, though, Penny was an enigma; she had neither a collar nor a microchip ID. It also isn’t known whether the person responsible for the fly-tipping was once Penny’s owner. Regardless, Benson has a theory as to why she was abandoned.
“I strongly suspect she’s simply been cast aside because she needed some veterinary attention,” Benson said. “And her owner didn’t want to pay for that. She’s literally been thrown out with the rubbish.” One of the most shocking things, though, was exactly where she was abandoned.
“[Penny] was dumped at a location where she could have easily never been found,” Benson said. “To do something so cold and callous is just heartbreaking, and I’d like to find out who is responsible.” With that in mind, the RSPCA appealed for help.
Indeed, the charity announced on social media that it wants anyone with information on Penny to come forward. The investigation continued, but in the meantime, Penny was recovering in the RPSCA’s capable hands. And there was, at least, some good news.
“Penny was so dehydrated vets had to keep her on a drip all weekend,” Benson reported. And since then, her progress had improved. She started out with small walks before being transferred to the RSPCA Essex Havering & Harold Hill branch to continue her rehabilitation.
Thanks to the kindness of the RSPCA, Penny has gone on to make a full recovery. Since learning what it means to be loved, her personality has really come to the surface. Yes, the RSPCA Essex Havering & Harold Hill branch described on its website how the pooch has flourished.
“Penny loves attention and is a very affectionate girl,” it wrote. “[She] likes to play with other dogs whilst running around our enclosed compound to burn off some steam. Penny is very gentle and walks nicely on her lead.” And after her ordeal, the dog is now ready to find her forever home.
Benson is just glad Penny’s rescuers found her when they did. “She wasn’t visible from the road, and I hate to think what could have happened to her if they hadn’t broken down in the area,” she said. “She must have had a guardian angel looking out for her today.”