A puppy that was kept in a crate so small she was not able to stand up, is now able to walk and run for the first time.

The German Sheppard, now named Gracie Lacey, is believed to have been imported from Hungary earlier this year when she was about five months old.

She had been kept for several months in filthy conditions in a tiny crate and, as a result, was unable to walk properly.

But things have turned around for Gracie recently after being adopted by dog trainer Celia Felstead.

Ms Felstead decided to foster her for Vigil German Shepherd Rescue who had taken her in and started a regime to help build up her muscles, which had been wasted due to her confinement.

She realised that she would have to wait until Gracie had grown a little to see what damage had been done to her legs, but this became clear a few weeks later when she started limping and was diagnosed as having an injury to the cruciate ligament, as well as cartilage damage in one of her back legs.

Gracie was then treated by veterinary surgeon Dr David Kydd from Medivet Wimbledon.

Despite the damage to her back legs and general health caused by her difficult start in life, she is now looking forward to her first Christmas being able to run and play like other dogs.

“Gracie is a young dog and the cruelty she suffered during her first few months, trapped in a crate, is terrible to think about," Dr Kydd said.

“Some of the damage she suffered is permanent, but the important thing is that she can walk, run and play and, in every way, lead a normal life.

"I was very happy to be able to repair her cruciate injury and, together with our pre-and post-operative surgical nursing care, followed by the excellent rehabilitation she received at Greyfriars, she’s made a fantastic recovery.

"This good outcome is really down to great teamwork and communication, involving rescue, foster care, surgery, nursing and rehabilitation.”

Four months on, Ms Felstead is delighted at the recovery Gracie has made.

"Gracie came to live with me in April and has grown into a wonderful girl," she said.

"When she first arrived, she had never been walked so found the outside world scary and people frightening, yet she now greets people happily.

"We are both eternally grateful to David Kydd and Medivet for their advice, knowledge and compassion. Gracie and I are now looking forward to enjoying long walks with my other three dogs.”