New home for Ralph the three-legged rescue dog

Ralph the dog
Image caption Ralph only has three legs but that does not stop him from running "like a rocket"

A three-legged dog who was mistreated by his previous owners has finally found a new home.

When Ralph was rescued by the RSPCA as a five-month old pup he had a fractured left back leg, three broken ribs and a fractured pelvis.

The leg was amputated but Ralph had canine hydrotherapy and eventually learned to walk again.

New owner Karen Vernon, from Allestree in Derby, said it's "very hard not to love Ralph".

She said: "Initially we were taken by his face and the look of him, and his story too, it was so sad.

"We weren't initially going to come home with a dog but I couldn't get him out of my mind.

"Every week I would look on the site and say to my husband 'he's still there, he's not gone, nobody's taken him'."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Ralph had a fractured left back leg, three broken ribs and a fractured pelvis when he was rescued

RSPCA inspector Sarah Burrows said Ralph "looked so sad" when she rescued him from a home in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.

But Ralph, now 14 months old, is so happy he likes to lick people all over when he meets them.

He drags his bottom along the floor when he gets tired, but Ms Vernon said having three legs does not hold him back.

"He thinks he's still got four legs and can go like a rocket, which he can," she said.

His previous owners were prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering to Ralph and failing to meet his needs.

One was jailed for eight weeks. The other was given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £250 in costs.

Both were disqualified from keeping animals for life.

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