A couple from Gawcott, Emily Watkins-Brady and Dan Baillie, have become the final stop on a journey from hell and back for Dapper, a rescue dog from China.
What Dapper, aged approximately 3-4 years old, has seen and endured during his short life may be too much to contemplate if it was known, but what's certain is that he is one of the lucky few to be rescued from the cruel dog meat trade in China, where dogs are crammed into cages and skinned alive.
Dapper's salvation began with the brave intervention of an activist in China. She has a connection with a dog rescue charity based in the UK, and so began Dapper's long road to safety.
When Dapper arrived here he was extremely thin and had ground most of his teeth down, thought to be a result of trying to escape from the cages he was kept in.
After months of care and thousands of pounds worth of treatment he was eventually fit enough for rehoming. Enter Dan and Emily.
“I'd read a lot online about the Yulin dog festival and I've been a dog lover my whole life, so I started to look into it,” Dan said.
His partner Emily explained that previously she'd been more of a cat person but after their first visit to meet Dapper she said:
“As soon as we got back in the car I said we have to get this dog!”
In June this year, Dapper moved in with his new family and finally began to enjoy the love and stability he deserves.
Dan and Emily explained that his favourite things are eating raw chicken, running around the park and taking naps! He is also starting to show an interest in swimming which his new family are keen to encourage.
Dapper's charisma has clearly already taken effect on Emily.
“I absolutely love him so much. I spend so much time with him, I love having him around, he's such a sweetheart,” she said.