The frightened pug, who was later re-homed with a Poulton family, was discovered alongside another dog inside a dark, dank puppy farm after RSPCA officers carried out a raid in Bolton.
As officers step inside the outbuilding - with makeshift pens and runs inside - RSPCA Inspector, Pippa Boyd, can be heard gagging at the smell: “Whoa! That stinks. It absolutely reeks in here.
“The dogs have food but [they’re in] really dirty conditions and there’s faeces everywhere. These [kennels] haven’t been cleaned out for ages.”
Two quiet and scared dogs are found inside. One, a frightened pug, sits in a washing up bowl filled with old dog biscuits - the only way of getting off of the cold, hard concrete floor that’s absolutely covered wall-to-wall in faeces.
Reaching down to stroke Phoebe, who manages a little tail wag, Inspector Boyd says to her: “You just want a bit of loving, don’t you?”
RSPCA Special Operations Unit (SOU) officer Pippa Boyd was joined on the raid by police and Channel 5’s The Dog Rescuers as she executed a warrant at a property in Bolton, Greater Manchester, just days before Christmas.
The shocking footage will be shown in the latest series of Channel 5’s The Dog Rescuers in the hopes of raising awareness of the horrendous underground trade which the RSPCA says is booming in England and Wales right now.
The programme follows Phoebe the dog's rescue and progress after she is placed in a loving family home in Poulton.
After being rescued by the RSPCA - along with terrier cross Patsy - and taken in by Warrington, Halton & St Helens branch, Phoebe was rehomed by the Mustow family from Poulton in Lancashire: mum Nicola, dad Chris and Madeleine, 13, and 11-year-old Chloe.
Nicola said: “Phoebe has settled in really well in her new home, it’s like she has always been here.
“She’s a beautiful little pug with a fabulous nature. We wouldn’t be without her and hope she is as happy in her forever home as we are with her.”
Phoebe, now four, has had some medical issues as a result of her early life. She needs regular eye drops to help treat the inflammation of her corneas and she has a special diet to help with a urinary condition.
But she’s come a long way from that washing up bowl surrounded by faeces - and now has her very own warm, furry bed - possibly the first bed she’s ever had.
“She’s very pampered now,” Nicola added. “She’s a pampered princess. She deserves it after what she’s been through.
“She’s loved now, she’s 100% one of the family.”
Inspector Boyd said: “I hope this story will highlight the issue of the illegal, underground puppy trade and make people aware of the suffering these poor dogs are enduring.
“Unfortunately, this problem is huge in England and Wales at the moment so we would urge members of the public who are thinking about getting a dog to consider rescuing instead of buying a puppy.
“Anyone who wants to buy a puppy should be extremely careful who they are buying a dog from and where he or she has come from. We’d advise using the Puppy Contract to help with the process.”
Phoebe’s previous owner pleaded guilty to six animal welfare offences and on Wednesday was sentenced to a 16-week jail-term and was disqualified from keeping animals for life.
Rocky Knight, 36, of Masefield Drive, Farnworth, was investigated after eight complaints were made by people who had bought puppies – seven of which died, the RSPCA said.
Phoebe’s friend Patsy, who was also rescued, was also rehomed.
To adopt an RSPCA rescue dog please visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet and to help the charity continue to rescue dogs from puppy farms please donate by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/give.
Phoebe’s story features on The Dog Rescuers on Channel 5 at 8pm on tonight (Monday June 18).