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Travelling couple who couldn’t bear to leave a mange-ridden puppy who looked ‘like a rat’ reveal his amazing transformation after they adopted him from Mexico and spent $1,400 on vets bills

A mange-ravaged street dog with little energy and no hair on his feet or tail underwent a miracle transformation after a travelling couple decided to adopt him.

Teacher Ruby Maunder, 26, and her partner, student Eve McConville, 24, from Australia, fell in love with chihuahua-terrier cross Miguel, one, when he tried to sit in Ruby’s lap moments before they were due to leave Mixquic in Mexico.

Miguel had been left hairless by mange, weighed less than half what he should have and was being harassed by other stray dogs.

Ruby said: ‘Being dog lovers, we always used to give street dogs food and water in Mexico before leaving a town.

Teacher Ruby Maunder, 26, and her partner, student Eve McConville (pictured), 24, fell in love with chihuahua-terrier cross Miguel (pictured after his transformation), one, in Mexico

‘That’s when Miguel came to us – he had no fur and wanted to sit in my lap, that’s all he wanted to do.’

The couple had been in the town for Day of the Dead celebrations last November, before travelling on through the country, stopping in places including Oaxaca City, Guanajuato and the city of San Luis Potosi.

‘There are lots of stray dogs in Mexico but I’ve never seen a dog so small and unhealthy as he was then,’ she added.

She revealed the pup didn’t even look like a dog, more like ‘a rat or a little dinosaur’ because he was so skinny and hairless.

Miguel had been left hairless by mange, weighed less than half what he should have and was being harassed by other stray dogs. Pictured when the couple took him to a vet

Miguel had been left hairless by mange, weighed less than half what he should have and was being harassed by other stray dogs. Pictured when the couple took him to a vet

Since being rescued Miguel has put on weight and grown his hair back. The couple spent £700 on vet bills for the pup

Since being rescued Miguel has put on weight and grown his hair back. The couple spent £700 on vet bills for the pup

‘He had no fur on his feet and no hair on his tail and was very lethargic and slow moving,’ Ruby added.

‘I picked him up and took him to the taxi to the vets in Mexico City.

‘Normally, I would be afraid to do that in case a dog bit me, but it was almost like he was trying to tell me that he needed help.’

When, after ringing around, they were told there were no places left in the animal shelter they decided to take care of the pup themselves. The couple have since spent $1,400 on medicine, tests and vaccines.

Ruby revealed the pup didn't even look like a dog, more like 'a rat or a little dinosaur' because he was so skinny and hairless

Ruby revealed the pup didn’t even look like a dog, more like ‘a rat or a little dinosaur’ because he was so skinny and hairless

Miguel weighed less than half what he should have and was being harassed by other stray dogs

Miguel weighed less than half what he should have and was being harassed by other stray dogs

Ruby said: ‘The moment the shelters said they were full, we decided that it was our responsibility to look after him.

‘On the first day we rescued him the vet said he was about 6lbs in weight when he should have been 15lbs.’

Miguel was severely malnourished and suffering from mange, a skin disease which causes itching, as well as internal parasites.

Ruby added: ‘Because of the mange, all he did was scratch.

The couple had been in the town for Day of the Dead celebrations last November, and Miguel has since travelled with them through Mexico, stopping in places including Oaxaca City, Guanajuato and the city of San Luis Potosi

The couple had been in the town for Day of the Dead celebrations last November, and Miguel has since travelled with them through Mexico, stopping in places including Oaxaca City, Guanajuato and the city of San Luis Potosi

Ruby (pictured) fell in love with Miguel when he tried to sit on her knee in what she interpreted as a call for help.

Ruby (pictured) fell in love with Miguel when he tried to sit on her knee in what she interpreted as a call for help.

When, after ringing around, the couple (pictured left to right: Eve, Miguel and Ruby) were told there were no places left in the animal shelter they decided to take care of the pup themselves

When, after ringing around, the couple (pictured left to right: Eve, Miguel and Ruby) were told there were no places left in the animal shelter they decided to take care of the pup themselves

Over the last five months Miguel has more than doubled in weight and his fur has grown back - leaving the pooch looking dramatically different as he accompanied them on their travels

Over the last five months Miguel has more than doubled in weight and his fur has grown back – leaving the pooch looking dramatically different as he accompanied them on their travels

Miguel went through a huge improvement as the couple took care of him while continuing their travels. Pictured recently

Miguel went through a huge improvement as the couple took care of him while continuing their travels. Pictured recently

The couple taught Miguel how to play and he has since improved dramatically in confidence

The couple taught Miguel how to play and he has since improved dramatically in confidence

‘It was really unpleasant to watch him scratching all day so he was prescribed antihistamines to deal with it.

‘He just slept most of the time during the first week, but since then you wouldn’t believe he was the same dog.’

Over the last five months Miguel has more than doubled in weight and his fur has grown back – leaving the pooch looking dramatically different as he accompanied them on their travels.

She added: ‘We used to carry him around a lot initially because he didn’t have enough energy to walk upstairs or long distances, but now he has so much energy and loves playing with his toys with us.

But Ruby and Eve had to leave Mexico earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak

But Ruby and Eve had to leave Mexico earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak

Miguel is living with a friend, Julio and his family in Mexico City, until the pandemic subsides

Miguel is living with a friend, Julio and his family in Mexico City, until the pandemic subsides

‘Teaching him to play was one of the most beautiful things about this whole experience.

‘He has gone from being a timid and shy puppy to a confident and curious dog.

‘And physically, his hair growth is the biggest change. You wouldn’t believe that he was the same dog.’

But Ruby and Eve had to leave Mexico earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak. Miguel is living with a friend, Julio and his family in Mexico City, until the pandemic subsides.

Miguel was severely malnourished and suffering from mange, a skin disease which causes itching, as well as internal parasites

Miguel was severely malnourished and suffering from mange, a skin disease which causes itching, as well as internal parasites

Miguel is pictured soon after his rescue. The dog is now a much healthier colour and fur has grown on his tail and paws

Miguel is pictured soon after his rescue. The dog is now a much healthier colour and fur has grown on his tail and paws

Then they hope to fly him over to live with them in Brisbane.

Ruby said: ‘It was difficult having to part with Miguel so suddenly, but we got a chance to say goodbye and he’ll be back with us soon.

‘We had 10 minutes alone with him and said my goodbyes and there were lots of tears.

‘We miss him lots now, but are so lucky to have friends in Mexico who will look after him in the meantime.

Miguel is pictured soon after his was rescued

 

Miguel is pictured more recently after undergoing a dramatic transformation

The couple think they’ll have spent £3,500 in total by the time he is reunited with them in Australia

‘If we hadn’t have taken him that day, his future would not have been bright.

‘He wouldn’t have made it. I have always grown up with dogs in my family and I see a lot of my previous pet dog in Miguel.

‘He has travelled across Mexico with us and he loved doing that, so making the trip to Australia will be nothing hard for him.’

The couple think they’ll have spent $7,000 in total by the time he is reunited with them in Australia.

Ruby is now asking for donations to her GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Miguel's transport back to Australia, quarantine costs and vaccine fees

Ruby is now asking for donations to her GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Miguel’s transport back to Australia, quarantine costs and vaccine fees

In the meantime, Ruby is sending them $200-a-month to pay for Miguel’s care and keeping up to date with his progress via video calls.

Before arriving in Australia he will live with a foster family for a few months in Argentina until he passes a Rabies antibody test.

Ruby is now asking for donations to her GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Miguel’s transport back to Australia, quarantine costs and vaccine fees.

She is regularly updating people on Miguel’s journey through her Instagram @rescuingcocomiguel2019.