There’s good news for Bruce the dog who was found with holes in his head, having been beaten and set on fire in Cumbria.


Based on scan results back yesterday and feedback from his fosterer, vets say that he seems to be happy and enjoying life.


RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said: “It’s nothing short of a miracle really.Bruce now


“To say we are relieved by the feedback from vets is an understatement.


“We have been really worried, based on what we’ve been told by them, that Bruce was going to have such a poor quality of life in constant pain they may decide he needed to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.


“He can’t yet open his mouth fully but is otherwise doing everything a healthy dog does which is amazing given all he’s been through.


“Some other specialists are looking over the scans and further surgery may be an option down the line, and if this is in his interest this will happen. We’ll hear back from them in due course.


“Bruce remains with a foster carer at the moment and we are not seeking a new home for him.”


Bruce when foundBruce – a four-year-old brown male bull lurcher, a cross between a sighthound and a bull breed often used for illegal hunting – was found wandering around Little Orton, on the outskirts of Carlisle on Thursday 30 August.


He was reported as a stray and collected by the dog warden but as soon as she saw him she knew he needed immediate veterinary attention and rushed him to a nearby clinic. Staff there contacted the RSPCA and the charity has been responsible for his care since.


“I have never seen a dog in this kind of state in my 20 year career at the RSPCA,” said Chief Inspector Melloy.


“He had a swollen, protruding eye and a deep hole in the top of his skull. His face was bloodied and battered, his skull fractured in several places and his jaw broken, and his tail had been burned. He was also very skinny.


“We believe he had either been beaten with a screwdriver or a piece of wood with a nail hammered into it, giving him the severe puncture wounds and nasty eye injury which had then become infected and had to be removed. The fur and skin around his rear end and tail were burned as if someone had tried to set him on fire.


“Shockingly, it’s thought he’d been like that for three or four days before he was found.”


A national appeal for information to find those responsible resulted in huge media coverage, and RSPCA officers have followed up on all of the information that has come in as a result, but sadly, so far, it hasn’t lead anywhere.


“It’s very disappointing that we haven’t found who did this so far, and whilst we’re thrilled that Bruce is now able to move into the next chapter in his life, this case is not closed,” said Chief Inspector Melloy. Anyone with specific information they think might help can call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.


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