Martlesham: Blind puppy hopes for loving home

FLOSSIE did not have the best of starts in life.

The tiny English setter was born blind and was forced to fight for food in a room that was home to 12 dogs, many much bigger.

Now, after being rescued by the RSPCA, she is being nursed back to health – and taught the difference between day and night.

Staff at the RSPCA Animal Centre, at Martlesham, are hoping to find a new home for the two-year-old – as well as many others in kennels at the Mill Lane site.

Flossie is being fostered by Shirley Damant, from Ipswich, until a permanent owner comes forward.

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“She was found by the RSPCA in terrible conditions and I don’t know how she survived,” Mrs Damant said.

“She could barely stand up when she was rescued and she’s only half the size she should be, but I don’t think she will get any bigger now.”

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Mrs Damant, who volunteers at the RSPCA centre, said Flossie had no social skills and was unable to tell the difference between day and night.

She began the long task of house training her, and introduced different dog baskets for day and night to get her used to routine.

But she won’t be able to keep Flossie long-term, because her 13-year-old Samoyed dog, Mushka, will not be able to adapt.

“She’s a lovely little thing, very gentle and affectionate and everybody loves her.

“You have to make allowances for her, of course, and she needs care and attention, but Flossie would make a lovely pet, especially as I’ve now done the lion’s share of house training her.”

Flossie’s story is a typical example of the kind of cases the RSPCA staff at Martlesham deal with every day.

Their task will become harder as it was revealed last month the centre is facing a cash crisis which is threatening its future.

It costs �1,000 a day to run but the operations of the Suffolk East and Ipswich branch, which runs the centre, only bring in half that amount. There are always more than 100 animals at the site waiting for a new home, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and parrots.

To find out how you can help, contact Kate Grimwood, branch administrator, on 01449 614057 or 07745 771129 or e-mail on

For more information about fostering or adopting animals, contact the centre on 01473 623280.

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