Re-Homing Stories

Part of the life of a vet is to sometimes be presented with healthy dogs to be destroyed. I made an ethical choice not to do this, but I felt that I should also take responsibility for these dogs to avoid something worse happening to them. Although only a small number compared to the work of animal shelters, I have re-homed 30 or so dogs this way. Here are a few of the more interesting ones:

SALLY: It's cheating to put Sally in this category, as I ended up keeping her, but here she is anyway, for sentimental reasons. She was brought in aged about 8 as her owner was elderly, and his relatives were too busy showing their pedigree animals to bother with cross-bred Sally. To be fair to them, they didn't really want her to die, they just didn't understand there are other options. But as it happened, she was lucky not to have ended up in a shelter, where older dogs often hang around for a long time. Sally needed a small operation for bladder stones, but went on to have another 5 years of fun. She was a very timid and gentle dog.


Sally pictured between George and Jimmy

BLUE: This handsome brindle lurcher is certainly the most dramatic rescue i've been involved in. I was working up north, when, unknown to me, dogs having done their 7 days in the pound were being destroyed in the room next door. Having gone into the room by chance to borrow something, I saw 3 dead dogs in the corner, and Blue seconds from becoming the fourth. To cut a long story short, I stopped it from happening and he went on to live on a fruit farm in Herefordshire, where he gallops around to this day.


PATCH: Patch was a lively, amiable 4 year old collie cross when he was brought in to be 'put to sleep' because his owners were having a baby. He had no reported problem behaviours, but was simply surplus to requirements. He found a fantastic lifelong home in the Forest of Dean and died recently, aged 12. After having their baby, his former owners bought a new puppy.

BARNEY: Barney was confiscated from a travelling community at a charity clinic I was working in. He was a pup of about 6-8 weeks at the time, and was so starved that he had digested his own muscles to survive. In the photo you can see him walking on the backs of his legs- he didn't have enough nutrition to make ligaments strong enough to support his tiny body weight. Luckily, the damage was not permanent and Barney grew into a quite large and handsome Saluki-type lurcher. He hates vets, but otherwise lives a happy life, also in the Forest of Dean.


BELLA: Bella was found abandoned under a bush by a member of the public. She was also just a very young puppy, and emaciated, crawling with fleas and lice, and covered in skin sores. None of this stopped her being wildly excitable and interested in everything. She soon grew into a fit and healthy adult, and found a wonderful permanent home, where she is still wildly excitable and interested in everything!


If you're thinking of re-homing a dog, or donating money to 'rescue', please be careful. There are some organisations out there which present themselves as charities, and solicit donations from the public, but are not registered charities. They have no accountability or regulation, and you have no idea where your money is going. A registered charity does have to account for its actions. This is not to say that all unregistered organisations are bad, and many are very good, but some have appalling welfare standards, even if they are well-meaning. For free help and advice with this, please get in touch.
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