Deaf dog rescued from filthy property in Wirral to spend Christmas in new forever home

A neglected deaf dog who was rescued from an empty property – where her starving canine friend was found dead – is now enjoying life in a new family home after she was rescued and rehabilitated by the RSPCA.

Misty, a Catahoula Leopard dog, was one of two dogs who had been locked up and left in a filthy building with no food and water in Wirral.

The RSPCA were alerted to their plight and inspector Helen Smith went to rescue them from the abandoned building in the Wirral area in July 2021 – but sadly Misty’s canine companion had already died.

Helen said, “Misty was very frightened when we rescued her and not used to human contact but I knew she was a loving dog. It must have been awful to be left starving with no water in such a dark and filthy building

“She’d had to watch helplessly as her companion died and no doubt would have been terrified about what would become of her. “

Sadly, this kind of abandonment is on the increase and the RSPCA has seen a shocking 25% rise in the number of abandonment incidents along with a 13% rise in neglect incidents being dealt with by rescue teams.

The animal rescue charity believes the cost of living crisis is leading to more people dumping or neglecting their pets and fear this will become much worse. In response, they have launched their Christmas campaign to help raise funds so they can continue their vital work.

Misty, aged 3, was severely underweight, dehydrated and weak so Helen rushed her to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for emergency treatment and she began her journey to recovery.

She was then transferred into the care of the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch of the RSPCA last year where staff worked wonders with this once timid and thin dog.

Staff noticed she was deaf and taught her sign language commands to help her in the next chapter of her life and she was transformed into a healthy and bouncy bundle of joy who was ready for a new home. 

Misty when rescued
Linda Hutton and Misty

Then in March this year – after months of patiently waiting in RSPCA care – Misty was adopted. She is now enjoying life in a new home where her tragic past is firmly behind her and is loving her new family Linda Hutton and Dougie Hall in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in her forever home.

Linda, who helps run a family cafe, said Misty is now loving life and has become best friends with the couple’s two other dogs Hank, also a Catahoula Leopard dog and Daisy, a Rhodesian Ridgeback  – both aged two.

She said, “We have experience of this breed and we did think it would be nice to have another and we thought Hank would be better with a spayed bitch.  

“We then saw an appeal for Misty who had been waiting patiently for a new home and so we decided to enquire about her as she wasn’t too far away from where we lived. We visited Daisy a number of times and knew she would fit into the family and so we adopted her.

“The three of them love each other and really have the time of their lives together. They all enjoy walks and are very good on the lead – we also have a big garden which they like to play in, or relax on the sun loungers of chairs. 

“We have a dog flap so they are in and out all the time having fun and getting up to some mischief at times.

“They also love our little grandson Archie, aged four, when he visits and all four play together.

“We are so grateful to the RSPCA and are supporting their Christmas campaign so they can save more lives like Misty. We’d urge other dog lovers to help animals in need and join the rescue.”


Linda said Misty being deaf doesn’t hold her back at all.

She added, “We knew Misty was deaf – caused by a defective gene in their breed – and while this may have put some adopters off; it didn’t bother us. We use hand signals to help her do basic commands so, for example, we wave to her for her to come and point down to get her to sit.

“She knows she is doing well when she sees our smiles – and so do Hank and Daisy so it works so well.

“Misty’s life is so different to what it was when she was rescued and when you look back to then you really see just what an amazing job the RSPCA do.

“She was saved from a lingering death and transformed from a frightened and starving dog who lacked attention into the bouncy, loving healthy girl she is today.”

Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer at the Chesterfield branch which cared for Misty, said, “She was in a bad way when she first came to our branch for rehabilitation 

“She was very underweight and needed a special diet to bring her back to a more healthy size. She was also very frightened and timid following her ordeal and needed to learn to trust again.

“Staff at our centre soon realised while working with her that she was deaf and so were teaching her sign language commands to help her in the next chapter of her life.

“We were thrilled when she found her forever home and it is so heart-warming to see how she is now loving the perfect family life she thoroughly deserves.”

The RSPCA is appealing to people who are in the position to donate to please ‘Join the Christmas Rescue ’ Any contribution could make the difference between life and death for animals this winter.

  • £6 a month could help towards vaccinating an abandoned pet we have just rescued
  • £8 a month could help towards rehabilitate a neglected dog or cat, allowing them to find a new home
  • £10 a month could help towards providing essential warmth and shelter to mistreated puppies and kittens
  • £15 could help towards nourishing food for animals in our care
  • £20 could help towards pain relief to neglected and suffering animals
  • £30 could help towards supplying a newly rescued dog with their primary course of 
  • £60 could help towards keeping an animal rescuer on the road this winter
  • £100 could help towards keeping our hospitals and centres stocked with specialist medicines this winter

Why not follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? You can also send story ideas to

Share this

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Facebook comments

Latest news