A puppy who nearly died after being left in a hot car boot last month is now ready for his new fur-ever family.
The young shar pei-cross nicknamed Rocky has been in the care of Tauranga SPCA for nearly a month. He was found inside the boot of a sedan car parked at Mount Maunganui main beach in January.
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Rocky was found near death after spending more than an hour inside the car in sweltering heat but has since made an incredible recovery.
SPCA inspector Anna Porteous said Rocky was now well enough to be adopted.
"He's doing really well. He's recovered really well from the trauma of being in the boot. The vets did a really good job of pulling him through."
On January 21, people at Mount Maunganui became concerned after hearing barking coming from the boot of the car parked at the beach. Police were called and eventually, the owner was found and the boot opened.
Rocky was barely conscious. The young pup was having seizures and was close to death when he was taken to Mount Maunganui Veterinary Hospital.
Porteous said Rocky had since required hardly any further treatment except for surgery for haematomas on his ears, likely to have come from rough play with other puppies before he was taken into care.
"He's a very playful puppy and loves playing with other puppies. We've mixed and mingled him with other puppies and he's a very social little fellow. Not just with dogs either. He loves cuddles with volunteers when they come to check on him.
"He's definitely drawn some star power, given his background."
Porteous said Rocky's case was such that potential owners would be required to apply for adoption, to better ensure he went to the best possible home for a happy life.
"We are asking that people who are considering him as a new family member to do it for the right reasons. He's got a sad backstory, and a dog is for life. He's still going to need all the love and care he can get."
Porteous said because of Rocky's breed, he could potentially also suffer from future skin issues which could require treatment.
Rocky's original owner surrendered him to the SPCA's care. The animal welfare charity is currently looking into an investigation and cannot comment on the case itself.