After waiting almost a year, former stray lands paws in forever home

After waiting exactly 340 days to find her special someone, one of Dogs Trust Ilfracombe’s longest-term residents has trotted off to her forever home.

Three-year old Lurcher Amber arrived at the West Down based rehoming centre in October 2019 after originally being found wandering the streets, and has been waiting to find a forever home ever since. That wait finally came to an end in September this year when Charlotte Ferrand and Ross Higgins from Exeter adopted her, after two months of visits to get to know the shy pooch. The couple even rented a nearby holiday cottage so they could make daily visits to make sure Amber felt comfortable with them before adoption day.

Charlotte says: 

"She stole our hearts! Amber is certainly a very special girl and we feel very lucky to have been able to give her a home."

"We had decided we wanted to adopt a rescue dog and because of Covid, we weren’t able to go along to Dogs Trust Ilfracombe to look around, so we ended up looking on the website, which is where we saw Amber’s profile video and we fell in love with her."

"I sent in our application and chatted to one of the team who thought we’d be a suitable match. A couple of video calls later, we’d watched Amber playing and the team did a virtual home visit to check our set up would be suitable for her."

"Then it was time to meet her! She was super nervous around new people, so the process took around two months and we visited her around 15 times to get to know her – including three visits to our home. It was definitely worth it as each time we saw her, she got more and more relaxed around us, it was a lovely thing to experience."

As a former stray, the team didn’t know much about Amber’s history, but she was nervous of people and was easily spooked in unfamiliar situations. The team at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe put in lots of time to helping Amber feel more comfortable around the things she found scary and she often went for overnight stays with her favourite canine carer who helped prepare her for home life.

Elise Watson, rehoming centre manager at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe, says: 

"Dogs Trust is committed to caring for dogs until they find their forever homes, so many hours of positive training and a lot of love have helped Amber over the last year."

"Finding the perfect home for any dog always fills you with a warm feeling. But when one of your longest term dogs find their fortune it really is a special day for everyone. The staff ensure that all of the dogs in our care get lots of playtime, TLC, and focused training sessions, but the team really have gone the extra mile for Amber as they desperately wanted her to find a loving home."

"We’re predicting that we’ll see an increase in dogs being abandoned or found straying, like Amber, in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis so if you’re looking to adopt a dog, take a look at our website, and change the tale for more of our rescue hounds." 

 Charlotte added:

"Amber has been with us for about a month now and she has made herself right at home! We still have a long road ahead, as she really did have a tough start in life. But, she is making leaps and bounds in her confidence with our patience and love, and of course the amazing support we continue to receive from Dogs Trust behaviourists. Her progress is testament to the hard work her carers put in to helping her and prepare her for the day she found a home. She’s doing so well and we can’t imagine life without her now!"

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

To change the tale for a rescue dog like Amber, call Dogs Trust Ilfracombe on 01271 446058.