Covid-19 update: our rehoming centres aren’t open for public browsing, but we’re still rehoming and taking in dogs, with measures in place to keep staff and adopters safe. Find out more about how national Covid-19 restrictions are affecting our rehoming procedures and other activity.

Dog given to shocked woman as 'buy one get one free' spends first Christmas in new home

A dog that was given away ‘for free’ to a shocked woman purchasing a puppy is getting ready to spend Christmas in her new home at the heart of her loving family.

Nina, formerly named Ivy by the centre, was just four weeks old when she was handed over to Dogs Trust West London. The people who handed Nina in had been given her ‘for free’ when they went to pick up their 12-week-old puppy from online sellers. Realising immediately that poor Ivy was too young to be away from her mother, they brought her straight to the Harefield based rehoming centre.

Richard Moore, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust West London said:

"It was heart breaking to see Nina when she first arrived. She was very weak and obviously far too young to have been taken away from her mother. When she arrived, Nina was rushed straight to the vets for a check-up and having been given the all-clear was taken in by one of our amazing foster carers, who gave her all the care she needed.

"We believe we have really changed the tale for Nina, as the outcome could have been so different had she not been brought to us. With lots of TLC she came on in leaps and bounds which was so lovely to see, and then it was time to find Nina a forever home. That was when Terry and Geoff got in touch, who turned out to be a perfect match."

Terry and Geoff had decided they wanted to welcome a rescue dog into their life, and it was love at first sight when they first met Nina.

Terry Garrett says:

"We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at Dogs Trust West London to meet Nina for the first time, but what a little corker she was! Nina is gorgeous, full of life and a complete joy to be around, despite her terrible start in life.

"Nina has brought so much love and purpose into our lives in what has been a difficult year. We’ve enjoyed watching Nina encounter so many first experiences, like the stairs, the hairdryer and meeting other dogs, large and small.

"The world can be scary for a puppy and we have had fantastic support from the team at Dogs Trust to help us overcome any hurdles we have had. We are now excited for Nina’s first Christmas, which will be a very special one. We are looking forward to wonderful walks along the river in Richmond and, as Nina has been a very good girl this year, some squeaky presents and a dog friendly Christmas dinner.

"We would definitely recommend adopting a dog. A dog is for life and we thought long and hard about getting one, but the time was right for us and Nina has proved to be the best company ever in this unusual year. We are so happy that Nina has landed on her paws and is going to be spending the first of many Christmases as part of our family."

Nina is just one of many dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes that Dogs Trust West London is changing the tale for, and who have found loving homes since lockdown began in March, but Dogs Trust fears that nationally up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of abandonment as a result of the fallout from the coronavirus crisis. (1)

Richard Moore, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust West London said:

"We’re delighted that Nina will be spending her first Christmas with Terry and Geoff, getting all the love and affection she deserves. Seeing our dogs go to their new homes is why we do the job we do, and we are all absolutely delighted for Nina.

"Sadly, we do expect to see more dogs finding themselves homeless in the coming months as a result of the pandemic, but 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."

Dogs Trust West London is not open for public browsing, but you can still make an appointment to adopt or bring a dog to us. We have set up new processes which include social distancing measures to help keep staff and our visitors safe.

As dogs and their owners face hardships that could break them apart, Dogs Trust wants to be there to protect their bond and to make people aware of how the charity can help before their situation becomes desperate.

Dogs Trust wants to change the tale for thousands of dogs who otherwise would have nowhere to turn. Dogs Trust can provide the services that dogs and their owners will need in months and years to come to help shoulder the hardships they never anticipated they’d face.

If you would like to help change the tale for dogs who have found themselves without a forever home, please give what you can by visiting Change the Tale. If you are struggling and need to give up your dog, please do get in touch with Dogs Trust on 0300 303 2188.

(1) Calculations based on our 2019 Stray Dog Survey found that 46% of the 69,621 stray dogs in Local Authority kennels were not reunited with their owners, or left unclaimed. After the last recession, there was a 25.6% increase in stray dogs [from 2009 to 2010]. If we apply that increase to last year’s stray dog figures [2019], we could see 87,444 instances of stray dogs, and our estimations are that 46% of those dogs [40,224] could be permanently unwanted.