See why this adorable three-legged dog is an internet star

As a puppy, Ralf was savagely kicked and discovered dumped in the street. His options were stark - he should either be put down or face a leg amputation.

No-one knew if Ralf could adapt to having three legs, but he was given the chance, and now he dresses up in cute outfits for his array of online fans – and has raised nearly £15,000 for charity.

His owner Sue Utley, 66, from Sheffield, says: “Ralf was just four months old when he was found dumped in the street by a volunteer from Rain Rescue, a local dog charity.

“I’d been a dog foster carer for them and offered to take him in for while. The poor lad was in a bad way, crying in pain from an injury to his front leg.

“Ralf had been kicked which had shattered his left elbow and dislocated his right shoulder.

“I couldn’t believe someone would hurt a puppy. The vet’s news was stark – put him to sleep or operate.”

The charity paid for Ralf to have his leg amputated from the knee down, but no-one really knew how he would cope with life on three legs.

Sue says: “I knew that Ralf would try to nibble at his stitches, so that day I bought him a baby’s t-shirt to wear, meaning his stump would be covered up.”

She and her husband Pete found it tough watching Ralf struggling to walk.

It took him ages to realise his old leg had been removed and he was constantly falling over. Eventually this caused a haematoma in his stump.

Sadly the vet then had to remove his shoulder, but luckily Ralf’s feisty spirit pulled him through and soon Sue was smitten.

“Fostering was supposed to be short term but as people offered to adopt him I just couldn’t bear to let him go,” she says. “He was such a character, always hiding things and getting up to mischief!”

She set up a Facebook page in Ralf’s name, uploading photos and sharing his escapades. She even wrote Ralf’s updates in a broad Yorkshire doggie accent.

“Helped me mam with the dishes today,” he barked. “She weren’t happy though, shouted at me to get out the dishwasher and stop lickin’ them plates!”

She also uploaded photos of Ralf wearing his tiny t-shirts. And as he grew, so did his collection.

Sue says: “He had stripy ones, Superman ones, sailor boy ones. His Facebook friends loved seeing what he was wearing every day.

“Soon he was boasting nearly 2,000 Facebook friends so I decided to put his popularity to good use and get him his own JustGiving page, meaning people could leave donations for Rain Rescue.”

To date, Ralf has raised nearly £15,000 and Sue couldn’t be more proud.

“Ralf had been left to die on the streets, and now he’s helping save the lives of other animals. He’s a little hero.”

KEYWORDS:

Rain Rescue

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