STAR readers have expressed their anger after a Labrador was found with serious injuries after likely being used for dog baiting.

A badly injured Labrador was given lifesaving surgery after being handed into a veterinary practice after suspected dog baiting and abuse.

A member of the public handed the female yellow Labrador Retriever to staff at White Cross Vets on Wednesday, September 22, claiming it had been found as an injured stray in Sherdley Park.

The dog, named ‘Connie’ by vets taking care of her, had injuries associated with a suspected dog attack, but on closer examination also had bruised kidneys, damage possibly caused by a human beating.

Suspicions grew when the practice were unable to contact the finder through the details they had left.

Experienced staff at White Cross Vets now believe that the dog may have been stolen and used as training practice for fighting dogs – known as dog baiting – before being handed in.

The dog wasn’t microchipped ruling out any chance of contacting her true owner.

She is recovering after emergency surgery by the vets saved her life.

Vets contacted St Helens Borough Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Team, who stepped in and contributed towards the cost of surgery and care that Connie would need to survive.

White Cross vets also contributed towards the bill, using their care fund, with staff coming in on their days off to assist with Connie’s care.

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Star readers have shared their disgust at the cruelty inflicted on Connie and commended those who had saved her life.

Susan Henderson said: "Totally sickens me how anyone can do this to a beautiful dog 🤬🤬.

"The individuals responsible for its injuries aren't human and are just pure evil monsters".

Kelline Barnes added: "Heart breaking how can anyone do this look at her eyes she’s beautiful".

Angela Twist wrote: "Makes me sick that humans can do this to defenceless animals".

Raymond Bonnici said: "Aw its a shame for the dog and who ever done this is a low life".

There were also calls from some readers to bring back dog licences.

Another reader added: "Poor soul. Hope you make a good recovery and if you have been taken from a loving family, you get returned to them safely.

"Kudos to all the kind people that have helped Connie".


Connie was found in Sherdley Park

Connie was found in Sherdley Park


After the surgery, Catherine Morley, White Cross Vets clinic director, said: “Connie was in a very bad way when she was brought in by a member of the public. We will never know what she has been through in the past, but thanks to a huge team effort from our staff, the dog wardens at St Helens Borough Council and North West Labrador Rescue she has a much brighter future ahead of her. All the staff have fallen in love with Connie and we’re all so pleased that she’s coming through the other side of this terrible ordeal.”

Council officers also made contact with North West Labrador Rescue, who supported Connie and arranged for her adoption.

Glenys Fryer, Labrador Rescue founder, added: “We were alerted to Connie’s plight by the council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement team and asked if we could help her. The abuse she’s suffered shocked and saddened us all, as Labradors are by nature very kind and trusting dogs.

“So we were happy to settle any care costs that were not already covered. Connie was picked up at the beginning of October by our fosterer, who will be formally adopting and continuing to care for her. Connie is such a wonderful dog, and despite her traumatic experience her tail is still wagging.”

“We will continue funding Connie for as long as is needed, but as a charity we are welcoming any donations towards her care and others like her. Anything you’d like to give would be gratefully received.”

Connie’s new owner said: “When we heard about Connie and her horrific ordeal we immediately offered to help. She was timid and very reluctant to move when we picked her up and it took a lot of coaxing to gain the smallest amount of trust.

“Her physical injuries were bad to say the least and they were just the ones we could see. She has suffered internally too as well as mentally. Over the past week with us she has continued to heal and everyone is really pleased with her progress. There's a long, long road ahead but we can see Connie's beautiful personality beginning to come through.

“She loves to have a cuddle, tries to steal our toast in the morning in true Labrador style and likes to play with her elephant which was her gift from the vets. However, she has a lot of anxiety and trust issues which is understandable.

"We will never ever know the true horrors of what Connie was subjected to but she now has the love and support of more people than she will ever know.”