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. 

Sophia and her owner sitting on the grass with her trophy

Now she’s thrilled Sophia has beaten off stiff competition to be named runner-up in Vets Now’s Pet of the Year Award.

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. 

Sophia the dog sitting on a bed in grass with her trophy

“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 gets 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.”