A dog abandoned inside a house when its owner moved survived for two months… eating TOOTHPASTE.
Husky-cross Yogi was a "walking skeleton" when RSPCA inspectors swooped to rescue her from the locked property.
There was no food or water for the pet – except a tube of toothpaste which had been ripped apart and chewed.
Vets said Yogi survived by eating the paste and drinking water from the toilet bowl.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Leafe said the animal had lost more than two-thirds of her natural bodyweight and felt like an "empty rucksack" when she picked her up.
She said she had "never felt a dog this thin that was still alive".
Yogi was rushed to a vet for emergency treatment, has made a full recovery and been re-housed.
Her previous owner Ayla Gilchrist, 23, who was traced via the dog’s microchip, was given an eight-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £128 victim surcharge after admitting three animal welfare offences at Derby Magistrates Court.
She was banned from keeping animals indefinitely.
The court heard Ms Leafe found Yogi when police broke into the rubbish-strewn property on January 6 last year.
She said: "She was walking, but looked very weak and unsteady on her legs.
"I could visibly see, despite the thick fur, that the dog was grossly underweight. The outline of every rib could be seen through the fur, as could the spine and hip bones. The dog’s face was sunken in.
"Her stomach was so sucked in that it looked like somebody could easily wrap their hands around her waist.
"I could not see any food or water. I was very concerned that if the dog was to be left any longer she may not survive.
"I was so shocked at how light the dog was to pick up.
"It just felt like picking up an empty rucksack. I could feel her breast bone which was very sharp and prominent and there was no fat or muscle surrounding her body at all.
"She looked like a walking skeleton and I had never felt a dog this thin that was still alive in all my life and career as an RSPCA inspector.’’
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The dog weighed just 8.75kg when she was rescued, despite her breed normally reaching about 30kg.
A vet who examined the dog – which weighed just 8.75kg instead of a healthy 30kg said the `only reason’ she stayed alive was because she could access the toilet bowl.
"The dog was caused an unimaginable degree of suffering for a period of at least two months,’’ they added.
Gilchrist said she had moved in a hurry and was worried about returning.
Yogi’s new owner Linda Merrill, 57, said: "She loves plenty of fuss and attention and she is so spoiled.
"She even has her own settee where she looks out of the window and likes to watch the neighbours and they also like to see her.
"She is such a lovely girl.’’
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