It's a fairytale ending for abandoned dog Elsa

By Megan Archer | Cradley Heath | News | Published:

An abandoned dog found close to death at a Black Country nature reserve has brought happiness to a grieving mother and daughter.

French mastiff Elsa almost did not make it when she was discovered alone and almost frozen at Corngreaves Nature Reserve in Cradley Heath at the end of last year.

Elsa the rescue dog

Birmingham’s Animal House charity got the call to help and staff were shocked at the state of the dog, who was given the name Elsa.

Poor Elsa was skin and bone when she was found

She weighed about 17kg, and was skin and bones, but animal rescuers took her in and nurtured her back to health.

Her story was shared online and Elsa soon attracted a celebrity following – with more than 400 people venturing along to see her at a ‘meet and greet’ event at Your Vets in Smethwick.

And after going back and forth between foster homes, Elsa has now finally found her forever home with Louise Haywood and her 25-year-old daughter Philippa, in Northfields, Birmingham.

Elsa just after she was rescued


The pup, thought to be about four years old, has quickly settled in with her new owners, as well as new feline friends Daisy and Fifi and rescue sheepdog Fluff.

Philippa and Louise revealed how Elsa’s arrival helped cure their broken hearts after two of their beloved pets died within three months of each other.

Philippa said: “We suffered two tragic losses within 12 weeks of each other – our bull mastiffs Juno and Ivan, both aged four.

Cousins Sophia Freeman (right) and Philippa Haywood with happy Elsa


“It left us heartbroken. We had watched Elsa’s story and she came to us to foster after not getting along with the previous fosterer’s dog. And we didn’t want her to leave.

“It’s like she’s always been here – she has brought the family so much love and laughter.”

Louise, aged 57, said Elsa loved to rest and would often disappear at about 10pm to sleep in one of the beds upstairs. She also revealed how Elsa loves walks, and chasing after tennis balls, and even enjoys a Sunday dinner with her family every week.

Cousins Sophia Freeman (left) and Philippa Haywood with happy Elsa

Louise’s niece Sophia, who lives nearby, also said: “I see her every day and we walk with my dog too. It brings tears of joy to see Elsa happy and my family smile again.”

Philippa added: “After the odds were stacked against her and our heartbreak we are so lucky to have Elsa.

“We would just love to thank everyone for Elsa’s support, the amazing work done by the Animal House rescue, her previous foster home, and Laura from Skinners who are sponsoring her food for 12 months.

“She helped heal our hearts and we are so lucky to have her.”

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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