A few weeks ago we were contacted by a local housing trust to see if we could help one of their elderly tenants with his dog Jack. The initial request was to provide walks for Jack but as events transpired it was clear that more help would be needed and fast. Their tenant had begun to become increasingly unwell and was advised to go into hospital or respite care. He asked for Jack to be rehomed as he was unable to care for his needs, Jack wasn’t getting the exercise and attention he craved.
Jack is a handsome 8 year old staffy, and as you would expect still has exuberant and bountiful energy. He is crossed possibly with a Collie or Labrador; is predominantly black with a distinctive white blaze on his head and white paws. He is a very friendly boy. Jacks exuberance and the tenants declining health were unfortunately becoming incompatible and both their safety and wellbeing compromised.
Julie's previous employment experience of rehoming dogs meant we were happy to help. We were aware of a fabulous charitable organisation called Senior Staffy Club (www.seniorstaffyclub.co.uk) who have been in existence since 2012, they rescue and rehome more mature (7 years and over) Staffordshire bull terriers and crosses. They use temporary spaces in boarding kennels, whilst assessments can take place, and have foster homes throughout the country. Whilst we were busy liaising with the housing association and Senior Staffy club, we also helped find a local kennel who could accept Jack with immediate effect. Many had decided to close due to the Covid-19 situation but Jack and his owner needed help fast. Cottage Kennels in Telford were helpful, available, and up to the challenge.
As we are amid lockdown for the Corona virus, everyone involved had a discussion prior to any contact of how we could proceed safely without compromising anyone’s health and wellbeing. On Thursday morning we went to pick up Jack from his owner. To reduce the amount of contact time a housing trust care worker ensured that Jack and his belongings were ready when we arrived. The tenant said goodbye to Jack and thanked us for helping. We assured him that Jack wouldn’t be in kennels for very long and that Senior Staffy Club would find him a foster home.
We took Jack for a little walk so he could go to the toilet before getting in the van. Senior Staffy Club had also asked us to do his initial assessment so we also used this time to assess how he walked on his lead and how he reacted to other dog, cats and traffic. He was so friendly and trusting, he walked lovely on is lead and also jumped straight into the van for our journey to Cottage kennels. The hand over at the kennels went smoothly; social distancing was observed along with them providing disinfectant for the lead and dog food bag. In order to avoid contact further we were asked to lead Jack to an enclosed paddock and they would come and collect him. Jack really enjoyed being off his lead and having a run around. Something that he had not been able to do for a long time. Whilst in the paddock we were also able to continue with his assessment, testing his recall and also how happy he was to be stroked, handled and have his ears checked.
After sanitising hands we left Jack at Cottage kennels (yes we really wanted to say and play but had to observe protocol). It must have been so bewildering for him to be taken from his owner and left in a strange place - however we knew he would be being looked after whilst there and it was for the best.
On return home we updated Senior Staffy Club on our assessment and the team were putting plans in place to pick him up by the weekend.
The housing trust had arranged to pay Jacks transportation and kennel fees on behalf of their tenant and we laised and completed the paperwork needed with consultation with the housing trust carer. The tenant had given the housing trust carer permission to contact the vets Jack was registered with to obtain microchip and vaccination details for future reference. We wrote up the initial assessment and sent it to Senior Staffy club. They said it was very thorough and that it would really help with future fostering that he was a friendly boy and already neutered.
Senior Staffy Club have now collected Jack, we hope it wont be too long before he finds a foster home and then his forever home. We will keep you posted. Until then we would like to raise some money for Senior Staffy Club towards his care by raffling a selection dogs toys for you to win - its only £2 a go and your help would be much appreciated.