Is Benji Britain’s most unwanted dog?

Could cute Benji be the country's most unwanted dog?
Could cute Benji be the country's most unwanted dog?
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Is this Britain’s most unwanted dog?

Benji the Patterdale Terrier hasn’t had a loving family to cuddle up to in nearly eight years.

Benji with animal welfare assistant Marc Cartmell

Benji with animal welfare assistant Marc Cartmell

The 10-year-old terrier was brought to the Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in St Annes as a lively youngster in 2008. With his jet black fur and adorable brown eyes, Benji was quickly snapped up by a family just four months after he arrived at the sanctuary.

But Benji suffers from diabetes which means he needs insulin injections every 12 hours, and his new owners quickly realised they were not ready to take on the demands of a pet dog and returned him.

Since then Benji has been a permanent resident at the sanctuary at Queensway Park Farm.

Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary chairwoman Mandy Leigh said: “He’s such an adorable little scruff. He loves attention and sits at the front of the sanctuary and says hello to everyone who comes in. But when people find out he’s diabetic they just don’t want to know.

“I just don’t want him to pass away without ever having a real family.”

‘Stubborn but loyal’ Benji loves splashing about in puddles and going for walks with volunteers at the charity - but turns his nose up at young children and other dogs.

Miss Leigh said: “When he first came to us he had been sheltered inside his whole life and didn’t know how to socialise. He was quite the big-headed little so-and-so, but he’s settled down a bit as he’s gotten older.

“He’s still a real character. He really thinks he’s the bees knees and expects everyone else to love him too!

“Terriers are known for being stubborn dogs and if he thinks he can get his own way he will certainly try. That’s why its important that he goes to somebody who has some experience looking after dogs.”

In desperation, Miss Leigh says she has volunteered to pay for Benji’s extensive vet bills even after he has been adopted. But Benji, who is now around 60-years-old in dog years, is often overlooked by potential owners in favour of younger, more playful dogs.

Miss Leigh now believes Benji has earned the title of Britain’s most unwanted dog.

The record was previously held by ‘Jed the Lurcher’, who achieved national fame when he was adopted from the Dog’s Trust centre in Darlington after seven years of waiting.

Miss Leigh said: “He must be Britain’s most unwanted dog. We should get him a little rosette on his cage.

“Benji’s an old man now and all he needs is an understanding home where he can watch television and go for a toddle outside. I hope he can go to an older retired lady or gentleman who will be free to give him his injections and won’t have little children running around the house.

“I just don’t want him to have to spend the rest of his life in the sanctuary.”

Could you give Benji a loving home? Call 01253 789185.