A pet dog horrifically stabbed 21 times by thugs who threw him over a garden fence and left him to die has survived against all odds.
Dempsey was subjected to the frenzied attack after knife-wielding intruders ransacked the house he was staying in.
The 'loving and gentle' Staffordshire bull terrier was knifed repeatedly in what has been described by his vet as the worst case of its kind he has ever seen.
Injured: Dempsey the dog and his owner Claire Wilkinson was subjected to the frenzied attack after knife-wielding intruders ransacked the house he was staying in
His owner Claire Wilkinson, from Bournemouth, Dorset, said Dempsey had been staying with her 19-year-old daughter Lauren at the time of the attack.
The teenager had returned home from a night out to find a trail of blood throughout her flat, property damaged and possessions smashed up.
Neighbours, who had heard the commotion, helped her search for the six-year-old dog that was eventually found dumped over the garden fence in a neighbour's property.
Police rushed Dempsey to the local PDSA hospital, where he underwent three-hour life-saving surgery after being stabbed in the pancreas and diaphragm.
Dempsey incredibly pulled through and is now recovering at home with Ms Wilkinson, 38.
She said: 'He had stab wounds to his diaphragm, to his pancreas and all down one side.
'There was blood all over the place and you could see where he had been cowering in the corner of the bathroom.
On the mend: Described as 'loving and gentle' the Staffordshire bull terrier was stabbed 21 times but remarkably survived
'They put him through this horrific ordeal - we didn't think he would last the night.
'I was in shock, I just couldn't accept that somebody could do something like that to such a loving and gentle dog.
'He's a proper family dog - he's never been aggressive.
'I look at him now and I can't help but think about what he went through that night, how he must have suffered.'
Uwe Holz, senior veterinary surgeon at Bournemouth PDSA PetAid hospital, said: 'Dempsey arrived here having suffered 21 stab wounds to his chest and stomach, two of which were life-threatening.
'The injuries had caused serious damage to several of his internal organs and he was severely traumatised by his ordeal.
'I have treated a small number of stab injuries previously, but this is by far the worst case I have ever seen.
'The operation to repair Dempsey's wounds lasted over two hours but thankfully it was a success.'
Ms Wilkinson wanted to thank everyone who had helped rescue Dempsey.
She added: 'I cannot praise them enough. The police were fantastic, they acted so promptly in taking him to the PDSA when he was in a critical condition.
'The staff at the PDSA were absolutely brilliant, their dedication was just remarkable and it's down to that that he is still with us now. I'm so grateful.'
Nothing was stolen from the property and officers are now appealing to anyone with information about it to contact them.