Love at first sight for old Staffy Butch

A 12-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier who arrived at Dogs Trust in a badly neglected state, has rediscovered his love for life, having found a new family in lockdown. 

Butch was handed over to Dogs Trust Darlington at the beginning of the pandemic last March, by animal welfare services. He was very underweight, he had scabby skin and a suspected tumour. The charity’s veterinary team wasn’t sure he would make it, and they ran lots of scans and investigations to see what was wrong.

Thankfully nothing serious was detected aside from a manageable digestive problem. Butch was put on a special diet and within a few months, he was a much happier and healthier dog in every way.

Almost as soon as Butch was put up for adoption on Dogs Trust’s website, he caught the eye of a local couple from Fishburn who were looking for another dog as company for their own staffy, Bella. 

In May, Dogs Trust Darlington staff took Butch to meet the couple at their home as the centre was closed to the public. The meeting went so well, he never left. 

Heather Clements, Butch’s new owner said:

“It was love at first sight when we met Butch. He’s perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better dog. We initially kept Bella and Butch on their leads when they first met in our garden that day, but we soon took them off – they clicked straight away and were jumping around and licking each other. She absolutely adores him. We all do.”

Heather and her husband Marty have kept dogs for 35 years and normally have three or four dogs at any one time. They had recently lost their beloved staffy Noah, and Heather said their home just didn’t feel normal having just one dog:

“Our dogs are like family and they really mean the world to us. They have the run of the house, and that’s the way we like it! Butch likes to sit up on the couch and he’ll lie right across you – he’s so affectionate and loves a fuss.

“The Dogs Trust told me he was 12 years old, but the way he runs around the garden, you would think he was a much younger dog! Maybe at the grand old age of 12, he’s just found a new love for life.”

Butch was a perfect match for the Clements family, and from day one, the staff at Dogs Trust could see he was in the right home.

Sue Embleton, Rehoming Centre Manager at Darlington said:

“The first meeting at their home went so amazingly well that we left him with the Clements the same day. He was so settled with them and with his new doggy friend Bella. It was like he had always been there! My colleague took the paperwork to the house to make it all official, and that was that.

“Butch had certainly had a rough time of it before arriving at our centre but his journey has been nothing short of miraculous. He’s now healthy, happy and full of life and we are delighted that we could change his tale thanks to our amazing canine carers.

“Nobody could have predicted the challenges faced in 2020, but thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery whose support helps to fund some of our wonderful Canine Carers at the centre, our dogs always have everything they need whilst they are with us, waiting to find their forever home.”

If you are struggling to cope with looking after your dog, for whatever reason, contact Dogs Trust on 0300 303 2188. Alternatively, please give what you can to help Dogs Trust change the tale for dogs like Butch who haven’t yet found their forever home, by visiting