A dog has finally found a loving home after it was rescued from an owner who battered the pet with an AXE.
Neo was saved by police who were called to the home of Peter Hillin, 47, after neighbours saw him striking a dog with an axe.
The 12-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross was covered in bloody cuts and wounds, and was nursed back to health alongside its brother Santos, also injured.
After six months in police kennels he went to Freshfields Animal Rescue – but was overlooked for two years.
But now he has been given a loving home by foster parents Connor Robinson and Millie Catterall.
Millie, from Manchester, said: “We have been following Neo since he first came to Freshfields.
“I have rescued dogs in the past and now am in a position to adopt.
“Our landlord was great and very understanding.
“When we first met Neo it was on the exercise field at Freshfields, and he made both of us smile with his antics! He loves his tennis balls.
“We came to visit three times a week or so during April, and he started to be more comfortable on walks with us and his personality shone through.
“Neo has settled in brilliantly.
“He’s so happy when he’s snuggled between us on the sofa. He’s changed our lives and we’ve changed his.”
Shocked neighbours called police after Neo was left covered in blood from cuts to his head and shoulder.
Armed officers arrested him at his house, in Huyton, Merseyside, on December 3, 2017.
His former owner claimed he only used the handle of the axe to strike Neo when it attacked his other dog, Santos.
But a vet dealing with Neo’s horrific injuries told a court he believed the injuries were consistent with numerous blows with the sharp end of the axe.
Hillin was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and given a 20 prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.
Santos only received minor injuries.
Keith Webster, defending, said his client “did not wake up that morning and decide to injure his dogs”.
Dawn Hurst, operations manager at the rescue centre in Liverpool said: “We know that
Neo will be so happy with Connor and Millie.”