A starving dog tried to eat his own tail while locked in a wet and dirty kennel.

Rodney was found in the back garden of a Huyton house after an estate agent went to the property to carry out an eviction.

The lurcher cross was discovered by police and the local council inside the soaking wet kennel.

He had also chewed part of his tail - possibly through the stress of being left alone for days on end.

The estate agent reported the matter to the RSPCA.

RSPCA animal rescuer Inspector Pamela Bird was sent to investigate and took Rodney to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital.

His bones were protruding and he was clearly emaciated. His tail had also been left badly damaged as a result of him biting it.

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He also had sores on his legs caused by laying down in the damp kennel.

It was discovered that Rodney had been left in the kennel alone for at least three weeks - with visits from his owner to feed him taking place just every few days.

Rodney's tail was so damaged it had to be amputated halfway - but despite all he has been through he still has the capacity to wag it.

Now he does so at almost every opportunity while in the care of the RSPCA’s Warrington, Halton and St Helen’s branch where he has been nursed back to full health.

Rodney was discovered at a house in Huyton, so hungry he had tried to eat his own tail

Staff at the branch are now wanting to find a forever home for lovable Rodney, aged 3, who it is believed has never lived in a home.

Alana Bibby, welfare team leader at the branch, said: “Rodney is such a jolly and happy chap - you wouldn’t know he had such a bad start in life.

“He has come on great in our care - and he loves people. He jumps up as if to say ‘hug me’ and most opportunities.

“Poor Rodney was so stressed with being left on his own for such long periods of time without interaction that he chewed his own tail and had to have it amputated halfway up. He now has half a tail but still enthusiastically wags it.

Rodney is now back to full health and ready to be rehomed

“It seems he is keen to make up for lost time as we believe he was left in a kennel for long periods of time and has probably never lived in a home.”

“He walks well and gets on well with other dogs - but because he has never lived in a home before he will need someone with patience to care for him.

"They will have to treat him like a puppy and start from scratch with training him - but he will do well because he is a very bright dog who is so eager to please.”

Pamela added: “The owner of Rodney was traced and he agreed to hand the dog into our care.

“He said he had fallen on hard times and was working away so he would come back and feed him every couple of days but the rest of the time he was left in his kennel.

“I am just pleased he is enjoying life again and not left outside in a kennel with no company for days on end. He’s a lovely and affectionate dog who deserves the best of home.”

Anyone interested in re-homing Rodney can email the RSPCA branch with the subject matter ‘Rodney’ to [email protected]