A puppy was hurled from a moving van and when she was rescued, it was found that her back legs were fused together like a mermaid's tail.

Bambi's kneecaps were on the outside of her legs which means when she tried to walk, they buckled under the pressure.

The one-year-old pup's hind legs were so deformed, they almost formed the shape of a mermaid's tail and she needed a life-changing operation to 'free her of unbearable pain.'

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was rescued by National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) after she was thrown out of a moving vehicle into the middle of a busy road in Northwood, Middlesex.

Watford Observer:
Bambi, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, whose legs are fused together like a mermaid's tail. Photo: SWNS

Jackie de Friez, centre manager at the charity in Watford, said: “We call her the mermaid puppy because her back legs are so deformed they almost make that shape of a tail.

“Bambi came to us filthy, hugely underweight and she had sores all over her.

“The memory of her mistreated and malnourished body is one that will haunt the staff for a long time.

"But as dreadful as her general state was, it was not the thing concerning staff the most when they met Bambi.

Watford Observer:
Bambi's band end curls under her hips when she stands naturally. Photo: SWNS

“When standing naturally, her back end curls under her hips and her back legs appeared to be buckling under the pressure."

Bambi was originally thought to have spinal injuries after she was thrown from the moving vehicle with another dog - a Lurcher named Popcorn.

The charity said both dogs had "clearly been mistreated by their owners" and were rushed to an emergency vet.

She was then taken to the NAWT where staff cleaned her sores, put her on a weight gaining programme and nursed her back to health.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was rescued by National Animal Welfare Trust after she was thrown out of a moving van in Northwood. Photos: SWNS

Jackie said: “Thankfully there are rules around stray dogs, which state an owner must be allowed seven days to come forward and claim their dog.

“But it was clear that Bambi was in a lot of pain and struggling to walk so we rushed her in to our vets for a second opinion."

NAWT staff arranged for Bambi to be checked a second time by their own vets.

They discovered not only had the pup been injured but she had one of the worst cases of 'lateral luxating patellae' and had been born with her knee caps on the wrong side of her knees.

Watford Observer:
Bambi needs surgery to fix her deformed legs. Photo: SWNS

Watford Observer:
Bambi's kneecaps are on the outside of her legs. Photo: SWNS

Popcorn made a full recovery following months of focused care and training at NAWT and has since been rehomed with new owner Caren Graffham.

He has been renamed Sydney and said to be settling in "very well."

To help animals like Bambi, visit the NAWT website.