Dog who could barely stand now has a sofa-ntastic home!


Every year we rescue thousands of animals from terrible conditions. Many have either been the victims of neglect, starvation or even physical abuse. 

Lance in his new home © RSPCAThese animals are taken in to our centres up and down the country where our kind-hearted staff nurse them back to health in the hope of finding them a loving new home.

Lance is just one of the 11,000 dogs rehomed by us last year, most of whom have suffered abuse. Lance was one of the lucky ones and now his new owners, the Greenway family from York, have spoken about the joys of bringing a rescue dog into their lives.


Shocked to discover family pets’ horrific past

Emaciated Lance before being rescued © RSPCAIt was while flicking through the RSPCA’s annual prosecutions report that the Greenways recognised their own dog Lance staring back up at them.

The Greenways adopted Lance from the York RSPCA Animal Home, and had only brief information about his background.  But as the family looked through the RSPCA prosecution report they immediately spotted the dog that had now become very much part of their family.

From the report the family learned that Lance had previously been called Buster and was removed from his previous owners in 2012.

When he was found, Lance weight just 13.35 kilograms, less than half of the normal weight of 30 kilograms. The vet commented that it was exceptionally rare to find an animal this emaciated still alive.

His previous owners were both disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years.

Moving on to a new life

Vanessa Greenway said:

“Lance was scared of even the slightest noise at first.  He and our cat Mitzi soon got used to each other but the first few months were hard with some problems – lots of accidents as he wasn’t house trained and chewing window sills to name but a few.


“However, once we saw a behaviourist, who gave us some fantastic ideas he now looks forward to us going out so he can have his shoe box of treats and stuffed bones to occupy him.  We usually find him asleep on the sofa when we get back (pictured right).  He loves his sleep too and is the first to bed and the last one up in the morning!”

Lance curled up in his new home © RSPCALance also had a metal plate in his leg as it had been broken at some point and as soon as he started having long runs the plate started to rub and came loose so it had to be removed earlier this year.  He wasn’t allowed to run for a few weeks but is now back to running normally.

Vanessa added:

“Lance still has his moments but is so funny and playful and just loves a cuddle.  He is much braver with strangers.  We went to the York RSPCA summer fair a few weeks ago – and he even remembered some of the staff, and was so happy to see them.


It has just taken time which I think is the key to taking on a rescue dog.”


Could you give a deserving dog a loving home?

RSPCA Inspector Aislinn Balderston took the original call and found Lance in his poor state. She said:

“I’m so pleased to see Lance happy in his new home – it’s what makes this job so rewarding.  The story of every dog rescued by the RSPCA is, in its own way, just as heartrending and uplifting as Lance’s and we hope people will be inspired to give a rescue dog a forever home.

Lance’s story is just one of the incredible and often heartbreaking stories featured in this year’s prosecutions report – it can be viewed at

Find out how to rehome an RSPCA rescue dog and view the many in our care in desperate need of loving homes.