A RESCUE dog who spent six years in kennels has enjoyed his first Christmas in his new home.
This time last year Patterdale Terrier Monty, spent yet another Christmas at Dogs Trust Kenilworth, but 2020 was to be the year he found his forever home when Paul Bennett and Dianne Malsbury welcomed him into their life.
Paul said: “We had had a cat for 18 years who passed away and both myself and Dianne had volunteered at Dogs Trust Kenilworth, so we knew about Monty and that a couple of homes hadn’t worked out for him. He is a sensitive soul and we understood the type of home he needed, so Dianne suggested we had a chat to the team about whether we could potentially be the ones to give him his forever home.
“That was just before the first lockdown so we had to wait until restrictions were eased before we could meet him several times at the centre and do lots of different things with him to prepare him for coming home. He had a few overnight stays with us too, until finally he was ready. Now he’s here we have become such good pals. He melts your heart.”
Monty is one of around 600 lucky dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes at Dogs Trust Kenilworth who have found loving homes this year, but he was one of the centre’s longest-term residents.
Centre manager Emma-Jane Thomas said: “It’s fantastic we were able to change the tale for Monty. He was an anxious dog; fearful of strangers and many dogs and he is also very noise sensitive, so he needed a very special home.
“Our specialist behaviour team had done a lot of work with him and he had become really affectionate with people he knew and quite playful, so when Paul and Dianne expressed an interest in giving him the chance to finally find his forever home, we were so pleased.”
When lockdown restrictions eased in the summer, Paul and Dianne visited Monty two or three times every week, working alongside the behaviour team to get Monty ready to go home. As well as playing with him outside, they spent time together inside with Paul and Dianne carrying out everyday tasks such as washing up, making a cup of tea, or just sitting down and reading.
Paul, who lives in Balsall Common, said: “It was so important to start with the basics and build a bond with him and it’s great things are working out. He has gone from being a dog that didn’t like going out for walks because he got anxious, to skipping around like a puppy when he knows it’s time to go out. He has a room of his own where he can go to chill out if he chooses, but we spend a lot of time together.
“He has proved to be great company in this unusual year. Monty Moo, as we often affectionately call him, is a cheeky, happy boy and I am delighted we have spent the first of many Christmases together.”
Dogs Trust fears that nationally up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of finding themselves without a home as a result of the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
Emma-Jane says: “To think that Monty has spent Christmas in a loving home is just great. Seeing our dogs go to their new homes is why we do the job we do, and we are all absolutely delighted for Monty.
“But sadly, we do expect to see more dogs finding themselves homeless in the coming months because of the pandemic. We will be here to help. We will do everything we can to change the tale for them, making sure they all find a new forever family however long it takes, just like Monty.”
Dogs Trust wants to remind people they are there to help wherever possible, so if anyone is struggling and needs to give up their dog, contact Dogs Trust on 0300 303 2188.
Alternatively, please give what you can to help Dogs Trust change the tale for dogs like Monty, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/changethetale for more information.