Beethoven the St Bernard dog abandoned in Norwich park

Kate ScotterThey may be best known for coming to the aid of others but a St Bernard dog has had to be rescued after being found in a city park underweight and abandoned.Kate Scotter

They may be best known for coming to the aid of others but a St Bernard dog has had to be rescued after being found in a city park underweight and abandoned.

The dog, which has been nicknamed Beethoven after the well-known film about a St Bernard dog, was spotted on its own at Earlham Park in Norwich by a member of public on Tuesday.

Norwich City Council's dog warden was informed and the dog has since been taken to a vet and put into care.

It is believed the dog, thought to be between six and seven years old, is 30kg underweight and he does not have a name tag or collar to trace his owner.

Now, an appeal has been made for its owner to come forward.

Moira Ross-Dempster, the city council's dog warden, said: 'I've been here for 16 years and I've never picked up a St Bernard before. You don't really see them that often either.

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'We would like to find his owner. We've done some door knocking in the area but it's so hit and miss.'

St Bernards are working dogs from the Swiss Alps which were originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its enormous size.

Fully grown, they can weigh up to 100kg but Beethoven weighs just over 60kg. It is also suspected that he could have a tumour.

Anne Masters, proprietor of the kennels where he is currently being kept, said: 'He's an absolutely gorgeous dog and so laid back. 'He's such a nice boy and didn't deserve to be out on his own.

'We've had trouble feeding him, he's a fussy dog. We don't know his history so we don't know if his weight is his own fault or somebody else's but he's a poor lad.

'Ideally we would want the owner to come for but it's worrying that he hasn't been well fed.'

Beethoven is currently on five small meals a day to help him put weight on but normally a St Bernard would eat three times a day.

Although the reasons he was found on his own are unknown, a spokesman from the RSPCA urged any pet owner who is struggling to care for their animal to seek help as soon as possible.

She said: 'While expensive pedigree dogs, such as a St Bernard, may less often be abandoned, due to the considerable financial outlay involved in buying such a breed in the first place, sadly no dog is 'safe' from being dumped and it is most often left to animal welfare charities and local authorities to pick up the pieces.

'We would like to stress that if anyone does have an animal they struggling to care for, then they must seek help at the earliest opportunity, and not resort to dumping an animal if they find they cannot cope anymore.'

Anyone who has information about Beethoven or his owner, should contact Norwich City Council on 0344 980 3333.

Do you have an animal story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email