When she was found tied to a gate on Wroughton Road, three days before Christmas - 'Lady', a Saluki dog was literally skin and bones. The malnourished dog struggled to stand and was so thin that her spine was clearly visible and her coat had started to fall out in patches.
John Warwick, who runs Swindon District Animal Haven, was called by a member of the public who had previously unsuccessfully tried to contact the RSPCA.
"We never turn animals away - and when I saw it, I could not believe what a state it was in. I've been running the Swindon Animal Haven for 23 years now and this is honestly one of the worst cases of neglect I have ever seen."
Following vet's advice, John committed himself to feeding Lady (named by his wife) on a strict 2-hourly routine - with no idea if she would survive her earlier ordeal.
"I cannot understand how anyone could allow their animal to suffer like this. She's such an adorable dog and just so loving. Amazingly, considering everything that she has been through, she seems to love being around humans."
With his family visiting other relatives over Christmas, John knew that his priority was to continue to care for the seriously ill animal.
"I spent Christmas Day curled up with this dog, making sure that she was regularly fed. Maybe it's a funny thing to say but this was one of the best Christmas Days I've ever had."
John's dedication paid off, and Lady responded well to the treatment he provided and is now back to an ideal weight.
And now John is inviting potential owners to come forward.
"We would love to see Lady go to a loving home - she is just beautiful and has a really lovely temperament."
Swindon District Animal Shelter, based at Warwick Farm, can be contacted on 07990 868887.