A dog who was found wandering the streets with his jaw hanging off after being used for badger baiting is ending 2017 on a high after finding a loving new home.

Herbie the lurcher was rescued by the RSPCA in August this year when he was found straying in Warrington. The injuries to his face were so severe that he had to undergo reconstruction surgery to rebuild his jaw.

He was put up for rehoming at the RSPCA’s Macclesfield branch, where he patiently waited for a new home – and his wish for a loving new family came true in November, when he was adopted by David and Anne Shaw, who live in Middleton, Manchester.

He has now been living with them for a month and, according to Anne, is in “seventh heaven”.

Anne said: “We had never thought of having a lurcher before but David saw him on the RSPCA Macclesfield website and said, ‘Look at this old boy’. We went to see him and it was love at first sight. He’s not the most handsome of dogs but he is gorgeous to us, he is so good-natured and affectionate, even after everything he went through.

“He really is in seventh heaven. We’ve only had him for a month but he has settled in completely and it is as though he has lived with us forever.”

Before moving into his new home, Herbie had to have surgery to his jaw, which had been ripped away. Anne said: “Herbie was in such a mess – his bottom jaw had been completely shredded and his lip was hanging down. His tongue isn’t whole as a result of his injuries and he has got scars all over his jaw and legs.”

Anne’s husband David said when they adopted Herbie they were given his veterinary record, which they read through thoroughly.

“It made horrendous reading,” he said. “He had to have his entire bottom jaw rebuilt. It must have been horrific for him when he was wandering around the streets all alone with his jaw hanging off.

“He isn’t the prettiest of dogs but that doesn’t matter to us – it’s his character which is important, and he’s got a lot of it. He’s comical at times. When we come home after leaving him on his own, he goes daft as though he hasn’t seen us for six years – he’s very enthusiastic.

“We haven’t had many accidents inside, only in the first couple of days when he did a wee on the sofa but that might have been because he was nervous in a new place. He has run into the Christmas tree and knocked some baubles off, but that’s it so far!

“We are still getting to know him, and him getting to know us – and he really is a lovely dog. He is a typical lurcher and he likes to stretch out and sleep for 20 hours a day!”

Despite an appeal for information going out in the media, the RSPCA never found out who was responsible for Herbie’s horrific injuries.

RSPCA inspector Lisa Lupson, who rescued him, said: “Herbie is a lovely and very friendly dog who has been through an awful lot. It is so nice to know that he has found a loving new home and he can finally have the sort of life he deserves.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.