IT IS a happy ending to the tale of the two puppies heartlessly abandoned in freezing conditions in a Penrith skip.

The male and female were discovered covered in dirt and rubbish in an industrial skip in Haweswater Road in January, 2019, by a cleaner emptying a vacuum cleaner.

The dogs, believed to be Cocker Spaniels, were covered in fleas and mange — a skin disease caused by parasitic mites — and were riddled with worms.

It was thought they were about eight weeks-old and were probably brother and sister. They were named Maggie and Boris by veterinary staff at Rowcliffe House Vets in Crown Square.

Both puppies were eventually adopted by two families, who live out of the area, and renamed Bramble and Brian. And, thanks to the detective work one of the owners, 25-year-old Jessica Robson, the dogs have met up a few times to play together.

Jessica fell in love with the playful pup when she met Bramble, who had been placed with the Dog’s Trust. “It was just meant to be. I had put my name down on the puppy list and asked for nothing bigger than a Cocker Spaniel because I had an older dog, and I also said I would prefer it to be chocolate-coloured. When they telephoned back and said they had such a puppy, I couldn’t believe it.

“My older dog, Rosie, didn’t like other dogs, but when she was introduced to Bramble, she got on with her. It was amazing,” added Jessica.

When Jessica and mum, Deb, and dad, John, went along to adopt Bramble, they met the other family who were there to take Brian home with them. “We got chatting and decided we would meet up to let the two dogs play together. We have done that about three times now, although Covid has meant we haven’t seen them for a while,” added Jessica.

“When we got Bramble home, I had to put drops in her ears and bathe her every day. She really is a lovely dog and we all love her to bits. She’s been doing some agility work,” she said.

But Jessica had always wanted to find out where Bramble had come from, and having been given some background from the Dog’s Trust, and using key words, eventually saw the original story that had been run in the News & Star. “It took me a while to find out. I just can’t believe that someone would abandon them in such a cruel way. It doesn’t bear thinking about if they had not been found,” added Jessica.

At the time the puppies were found, practice manager at Rowcliffe House Vets, Lynette Ferrington, said that the pups would not have survived on their own in the cold and dangerous conditions they were left. She added it was a complete mystery how they came to be in the skip and had not been sure how long they had been there, but said despite their ordeal, were bright, happy, little things and had won them over.

Jessica got in touch with the vets and sent photographs of both dogs. "They said it was lovely to see they had been found great homes,” said Jessica, who added: “ It’s weird, but they don’t look related. Bramble is chocolate brown and really tiny, and Brian is black and has a different-shaped head. But they do recognise each other and get really excited to see each other when we meet up.”

The pups had been handed over to the vets by 22-year-old Lucy Bodenham, assistant manager at the Penrith branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Haweswater Road. She said: “If our cleaner had not been using the skip to dump rubbish, I dread to think what would have happened to these little puppies. When he saw two pairs of eyes staring at him, he thought at first they were rats. They were so thin and tiny and covered in mud and dirt. We cleaned them and wrapped them in blankets. How anyone could do this, doesn’t bear thinking about. They would have never survived the night, in the cold.”