Rescue Stories


This is Rigsby. He’s an entire Harli dog and that’s about all we know about him. He was picked up by a local authority dog warden, after being found wandering the streets. It seems that, just prior to this, the RSPCA had been called to a Dane in terrible distress, which had been kept locked in a shed for weeks. Since that dog wasn’t found, it seems likely that Rigsby’s owners simply turned him out onto the street, before they could be caught.

Rigsby, in appalling condition, was cared for in the local authority kennels, but was about to be destroyed as no one came forward to claim him. Luckily for all concerned, a local rescue organisation (Save Our Strays) specialises in rescuing abandoned dogs from Death Row and stepped in. Rigsby was placed in private kennels until specialist help could be organised. Daneline were asked to provide the emergency help he so desperately needed. Lissi and Sue, with the help of volunteers, then moved mountains to transport Rigsby right across the country to his new foster family.

Rigsby arrived with us last night in an appallingly emaciated condition. Since he has already had a couple of weeks’ care in kennels, we can only imagine what he was like when he was picked up off the streets. They say that the camera makes you gain 10lb. It’s more than true in Rigsby’s case – he looks ten times worse in the flesh than in these photos and weighs in at only 35kg, about half of what he should weigh. His poor body and mind are ready to shut down, he can only stand for short periods without help and has what looks like cigarette burns on his back. This dog has been tortured. Time will tell if Rigsby can recover from all this abuse, whatever happens will not be due to lack of effort on his part. Rigsby has been to hell and back, but doesn’t for a second blame humans for putting him through it. He craves cuddles and loves and won’t leave your side for a second, not even when you go to the loo!


Rigsby was vet-checked before arriving with Daneline. They concluded that he is two to four years old and that the number one priority is intensive nursing and feeding, to get him over the crucial 40kg threshold. Until Rigsby reaches this weight, he will be in real danger of his organs starting to shut down with fatal consequences. Rigsby is certainly doing his bit and is hoovering up every one of his six meals a day. Our immediate goal for Rigsby is to keep him infection free until he gains enough weight to visit our vet for his vaccinations and a thorough MOT.


Well, what difference a month makes! We had expected to it take much longer to get to where this wonderful boy is now. The fact that he’s made such amazing progress is all down to Rigsby’s incredible “joie de vivre”. He was on the point of physical and emotional shut down whaen he came to Daneline. On top of the extreme malnutrition, he also had Kennel Cough.

He’s been a very poorly boy, but that’s not stopped Rigsby recovering with gusto, gaining over 16 kg in weight and working really not to get over excited when he sees other dogs. Today you would never know that he’s been kept in isolation, he runs around with a pack of other dogs and loves every minute of it. He has now gained enough weight and condition to be vaccinated and vet checked. This came back all clear, with the exception of skin tabs (little hanging warts on his chest) which need to be removed. The vet recommends that this be done when he is castrated in the next couple of months, when he’s gained a bit more weight.

Rigsby is the sweetest, kindest, most affectionate boy you will ever meet. He now needs a quiet family life, where his training and support can be carried on.

If you know of a Great Dane in need, please click here to see how to contact us.