Hessie the dog was a good as dead after her previous owner chained her up and left her to starve.

Then the SPCA intervened, and then a Napier family spotted the dog on the its website, and decided to drive four hours to Raglan to bring her back to Hawke's Bay with them.

Hessie and Brody were brought to the SPCA's attention in October, 2018, after a member of the public reported the two chained up in a backyard in the Waikato.

After visiting the owner on more than one occasion the inspector seized the dogs and took them back to the SPCA.

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SPCA spokeswoman Lauren Baker said it was likely that both pets had spent their entire lives on a chain.

They were skeletal, their bodies were covered in sores and were suffering from mange.

Chaining a dog was one of the most common forms of neglect, psychologically and physically destroying their lives, Baker said.

"It is a widespread practice because many people think it's an acceptable way of confinement, but it can cause severe behavioural and physical issues.

"It's a constant battle for SPCA because as long as they have food, water, shelter and are in good health, it's not against the law."

When Hessie and Brody arrived at the SPCA's clinic they were unsocialised and trusted no-one.

Hessie's condition when she was rescued by SPCA inspectors. Photo / Supplied.
Hessie's condition when she was rescued by SPCA inspectors. Photo / Supplied.

Waikato Centre Manager Laura Vander Kley said Hessie couldn't believe she was getting food four times a day, while Brody got so excited to see people "he would mouth your hands, almost like making sure you were truly there."

Hessie's new family then drove up to spend the weekend with her.

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"It was love at first sight so I drove to Raglan from Hamilton that weekend to finalise the adoption there.

"It was so lovely to see Hessie with her new forever family. "

From chained to now cherished, Hessie's tragic life was turned around in a matter of months.

Brody, still learning new social skills with his foster family, is now looking for a permanent home.

For more information call the SPCA Waikato Centre on 07 847 4868 or visit https://www.spca.nz/adopt/animal/135943/brody.