I receive press releases every day, and this morning when I went through my emails, I spotted two which highlight the plight of too many dogs at this time of year. We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for dogs, and there are various reasons for that, the saddest being abandonment by their owner. For Rottweiler, Roger, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tugz, this nightmare became reality.
Roger and Tugz were fortunate in as much as they were found and taken to Batersea Dogs & Cats Home, making them the charity’s first arrivals of 2017.
Roger is a six year old Rottweiler who is partially sighted, and was found on New Year’s Day wandering near Croydon. Having arrived at Battersea, Roger is now receiving the veterinary care he needs. Tugz, who is an elderly Staffie was found alone and running loose in Tooting on January 2nd. Both dogs were taken to Battersea by the concerned people who found them.
In another stroke of luck, both dogs were microchipped. Sadly, however, Roger has no details associated with his microchip, and although the home has tried to contact Tugz’ registered owner they have so far had no success. For the present, both Roger and Tugz are being kept safe, warm, fed and watered at the London shelter. Staff are waiting to see if either dog will be claimed, or whether new homes will have to found.
Battersea’s Intake Manager, Steven Craddock, said: “It’s always sad to see lovely dogs like Tugz and Roger brought to us through no fault of their own, confused and forlorn, but Battersea is the best place for them while we try to locate their owners. If we have no luck, we will work on finding them new homes of their own.
“However, this does go to show the importance of microchipping your pets and keeping their registered details up to date. Without this, Battersea has no way of tracing stray animals’ owners and must wait to see if they’re claimed. In April last year, it became law to microchip dogs so I’d suggest all dog owners make a New Year’s Resolution to take this simple step that can save both them and their pet pain and distress and help us reunite them with their four-legged friends as quickly as possible.”
Of course, work goes on all year round to match dogs in need of rehoming with their perfect home. And Battersea has rehomed their first dog of 2017. The lucky new owners are Wokingham couple Lisa and Peter Lea.
While poor Roger and Tugz were adjusting to shelter life, lucky Lurcher, Alfie, was adopted and left Battersea to start his new home. Alfie was brought to Battersea when his previous owner could no longer take care of home. After 100 days at Battersea, Alfie met Lisa in late December.
Lisa said: “Alfie definitely chose me. I came to Battersea to talk to the rehoming staff and he was in the office when I arrived, because he didn’t like being in the kennels very much. He looked at me, wagged his tail and came over to have a sniff and I said to the rehomer ‘what about him?”
Once Lisa’s partner, Peter, had met and hit it off with Alfie, the knew they had found their perfect pooch.
Lisa said: “Alfie’s only been with us for a few days, but so far he’s fitting in perfectly. It’s like he’s been with us for years. He seemed to instantly know where to sit, where his bed was and where to wait to go outside if he needs to. He’s an amazing dog and he’s so gentle.”
Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal said: “It’s always great to start the year by finding a home for one of our animals. Seeing Alfie finally find a new home on 2 January after close to 100 days at Battersea was the perfect New Year celebration. We hope 2017 will mark a new chapter for this lovely Lurcher and that he’ll have many happy years ahead of him with his new family.”
So, as 2017 progresses lucky Alfie faces life in the bosom of his new family, while Roger and Tugz face an uncertain future. They are not alone in that situation – there are many other canine residents at Battersea who are looking for love.
If you’d like to make 2017 a fantastic year for one of the 500 dogs and cats whom Battersea cares for at its three London sites, check out their website https://www.battersea.org.uk/