Dog abandoned as a puppy with hind legs ripped off wins 'Pet of the Year' award

Katie Court
Authored by Katie Court
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2024 - 12:00

An abandoned dog feared to have hours to live after being found horrifically injured has been honoured with a major animal award.  

Maltese cross Sophia was discovered as a puppy on a canal path in the Dudley area in blazing heat, covered in dirt and with one of her hind legs ripped off.

It looked like she may die, but dedicated care helped her pull through and vet nurse Sarah Beardsmore was so touched she adopted the three-legged little fighter.

Now she's thrilled Sophia has beaten off stiff competition to be named runner-up in Vets Now's Pet of the Year Award, run by the UK's leading provider of emergency pet care.

Sophia, now one, was just weeks old when she was found by the West Midlands waterway.

"She was brought into our practice by charity Ravens Rescue and she was in such a state we didn't think she'd make it through the night," said Sarah, 45, who works at Dudley Vets4Pets.

"She was barely responding, and it looked like her leg may have been chewed off. After we'd done all the first aid, she was really poorly and I took her home with me to give her medication and change her dressings.

"She somehow made it through, and when she was strong enough a couple of weeks later the practice operated on the remaining bone in her leg. But she crashed and had to be resuscitated, which was really scary."

Amazingly Sophia then improved dramatically with the entire team at the practice falling for her. Having previously fostered for Ravens Rescue, Sarah kept up the constant home nursing care and when time came to find a permanent home, she was desperate to have Sophia stay.

"When word about what had happened got out, the number of people who wanted to adopt her was extraordinary," said Sarah.

"But I couldn't bear to be parted with her and my three sons had become so attached to her we had to keep her."

Sophia was nominated for Vets Now's Pet of the Year Award by Sarah's vet practice, and she has just been named runner-up. She won a trophy, a £100 Lords & Labradors voucher and a bundle of goodies.

"Sophia is such a loving, crazy, happy little thing," said Sarah. "Having three legs doesn't stop her at all. She's like a little bottle of pop who get about just fine and loves life.

"When I have a bad day and feel down, I just need to look at her face and she makes me smile. I'm such a proud mum to see her get this award from Vets Now."


Vets Now is the UK's leading emergency vets and pet equivalent to A&E, treating and caring for thousands of brave pets every year. The annual awards look to shine a light on the special bond between pets and their owners and the brave stories from animals across the UK.

To read more on Sophia's story, visit -

There are more than 60 Vets Now clinics and hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur. Vets Now also offers an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice easily available from home. 

For more advice and information, or to find your nearest Vets Now emergency service, visit the Vets Now website,

Partnering with the multi-award-winning national charity StreetVet for the 2024 'Pet of the Year' awards, Vets Now has donated £500 to the charity.

StreetVet provide free essential veterinary care and services to the pets of those people experiencing homelessness, who may otherwise have to go without the treatment they need and deserve. 

Collette Sheaff, Head of Marketing at StreetVet, said: - "StreetVet was delighted to be selected as the charity partner for the Vets Now Pet of the Year 2024. It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and hear about the incredible stories of some amazing pets and to highlight the importance that pets can play in our everyday lives and the strength of the human-animal bond."

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