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Clacton dog's tale appears on new TV show
4:40pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
A COUPLE who rescued an abandoned and emaciated dog have featured on a new television programme.
Paula and Mark Oliver, of Porter Way, Clacton, were chosen to appear on the new ITV programme, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, which was broadcast on Monday.
The show told the heart-wrenching story of the couple’s efforts to help Amy, the year-old Staffordshire bull terrier they got from Battersea Dog and Cats Home in April.
Staff at the home said the case of Amy, who was previously called Sparkle, had been one of the worst cases of neglect they had seen in 20 years.
She had been found abandoned and cowering in a suitcase.
However, Mrs Oliver, 45, said it had been love at first sight when she and her husband spotted Amy at the home.
She said: “She was so thin you could see her bones.
“The staff told us she was moments from death when they took her in.
“Amy just sat behind the bars with her big, beautiful eyes. We just wanted to take her home and give her some love.”
Mrs Oliver said it had also been an easy decision to allow TV crews to document to Amy’s road to recovery.
She explained: “We were told about the programme and we wanted to support the home in any way we could.
“It’s heartbreaking going to Battersea, because every dog there has a story, usually not a nice one.
“You have to be strong, because you feel you want to take them all home with you, but if you can help one dog, then you have done your bit.
“That’s why we decided to let the TV people film a few weeks of her new life.”
Mrs Oliver, who works as a carer, said since she came to live with them, Amy’s weight had increased from 31lbs to 37lbs.
She said: “She was skin and bones when we first got her, but she’s looking a lot healthier now and is full of life and energy. It’s harrowing to know the condition she used to be in.”
Mrs Oliver said they took Amy to the beach every week to help her build up her strength and stamina.
She went on: “We have only had her since April, but it feels like forever, because she comes everywhere with us.
“She absolutely loves the beach and going in the water.
“Her eyes say so much. There is still some sadness about what she has gone through in her short life, but also there is so much love for her life.
“What she went through hasn’t affected her at all. She just wants to be loved.”