OWNERS of a rescue puppy that was left for dead in a cardboard box in an alleyway in Salisbury said he has grown up to be famous in their neighbourhood.

Rupert was one of two 8-week-old Lurcher puppies that were found abandoned, severely malnourished and frost-burnt in Stink Pot Alley by a dogwalker on January 31.

His brother Dibble was in such a frail condition that he had to be hospitalised in Pet Practice Vets, Churchfields, but Rupert was taken in by the Wiltshire Council dog warden to be cared for by Bath Cats and Dogs Home.

Read more: ​Dibble, puppy dumped in Stinkpot Alley, rehomed to couple in Devon

Due to Rupert being underweight, he was fed five small meals throughout the day but after 10 days he was weaned onto specialist puppy food.

Senior behaviour assessor Kirsty Long, at Bath Cats and Dogs Home, said the team realised early on that Rupert "craved human company" so he was given a cosy, covered bed which he loved to hide in and peek out of.

Salisbury Journal: Rupert would hide in his blanket when he was first brought in.Rupert would hide in his blanket when he was first brought in. (Image: Bath Cats and Dogs Home)

She added: "We asked our wonderful volunteers to spend time with him and get him used to new toys and other items. Once his confidence grew from there, we brought him to spend time with us in the office in the daytime where he could enjoy lots of affection, human company and experience everyday noises.”

Rupert was adopted by Jo Sardella, from Portsmouth, a few weeks later after she registered her interest in looking after a rescue dog.

Jo had conversations with the rescue team about a number of dogs but none were suitable for her family and she was about to lose hope until an email about Rupert arrived in her inbox.

"I fell in love the minute I saw him and before I knew it I was on the journey up to Bath with my son and sister to meet and hopefully bring Rupert home," she said.

Salisbury Journal: Rupert's family loved him the minute they saw him.Rupert's family loved him the minute they saw him. (Image: Bath Cats and Dogs Home)

“The staff were so friendly and welcoming and explained the adoption process thoroughly. We were taken to the room where we were to meet Rupert and in he came bouncing around and so pleased to see us.

"We were a little shocked how thin he was but our rehomer had told us he had been found on the streets with his little brother, Dibble, starving, underweight and with frostbite so we were prepared.”

During a few minutes of alone time to bond with Rupert, the family realised he would be a great match for them.

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The first few weeks were challenging though, Jo said: "I had to ensure Rupert’s food was timed right and in small amounts as he was still underweight.”

Almost seven months after Rupert was dumped, he has grown into a "beautiful" dog that is "famous" in Jo's neighbourhood and gets lots of attention when out walking.

Rupert was entered into Ugborough Dog Show in July where he earned fourth place in the category for Best Rescue, Jo said: "He was such a good boy at this busy event, as there were lots of dogs, distractions and people and he did so well staying reasonably calm!”

Salisbury Journal: Rupert placed fourth in the Ugborough Dog Show.Rupert placed fourth in the Ugborough Dog Show. (Image: Bath Cats and Dogs Home)

Jo continues to be supported by Bath Cats and Dogs Home and the team have been able to help with advice as Rupert progresses into his adolescent years.

" We feel so lucky to have found this lovely boy," she added.

For more information about adopting a pet from Bath Cats and Dogs Home visit bathcatsanddogshome.org.uk/how-to-adopt or call 01225 787 321.