The Gazette took on a challenge - re-home one needy dog every day in the run-up to Christmas.
While puppies are always popular additions to the family during the holiday season, older dogs are often left waiting in kennels to be rehomed instead of begging for turkey scraps at the dinner table.
Now we are happy to reveal that five dogs from Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in St Annes who featured in our Dog A Day campaign are already settling into new homes, with four more attracting strong interest from potential owners.
Dudley the Bull Mastiff, Tyson the German Shepherd cross, Snoop the Jack Russell, Ripley the Great Dane and Lola the Podenco cross won the hearts of dog-lovers across the Fylde coast, while Magnus the Dalmatian, Levi the Labrador, Ivy the Podenco cross and Hope the Lurcher are all eagerly awaiting house checks for their would-be owners.
Four more dogs and three cats from Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary have also been adopted as a result, chairwoman Mandy Leigh says, of The Gazette’s coverage.
She said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant and it has attracted an awful lot of interest, especially with dogs that have been with us a long time. Without The Gazette the dogs that have gone to new homes would probably still be with us.
“We love our dogs here at the sanctuary but they need a real home and that feeling of belonging. There’s nothing nicer for a dog than to be able to potter around a house and get individual love from one or two people that we can’t do.
“I was happiest to see Tyson go because he’s 14 years old. I offered to pay his vet bills but the owners wouldn’t hear of it. I think he’s going to be well-spoiled in his new home.”
Elderly Tyson’s new owners, John and Catherine Andrew of Guildford Avenue, Bispham, took the decision to adopt him after seeing his picture in The Gazette.
Mr Andrew, a retired accountant, said: “When we decided to adopt him it was with the understanding that he could go at any time. With him being so old obviously nobody wanted him and as you can imagine the sanctuary isn’t the warmest of places. I don’t think he would have lasted much longer there.
“He’s already bonded quite well with us. He cries when I go out and my wife thinks he recognises the sound of my car’s engine because when I come back he goes to the window.
“However long he has left we’re going to make sure he has a good time. His favourite place is in the front room sleeping next to the radiator. We’ve bought quite a few treats for him - but he’ll only eat certain ones.”
Unusual-looking Snoop the Jack Russell was adopted by Anchorsholme family Lindsay and Chris Bradley and their two children Jack, 17, and Katie, 13, on Christmas Eve.
MrsBradley, who works as a nursery nurse, said: “Despite what it said in the paper about him not being the most handsome of dogs, we thought he was really cute! He looks nothing like our old Jack Russell. He’s got very big paws and he’s quite stocky.
“He’s wonderful, well behaved, and very lovely. I keep calling him ‘Snoopy’ and getting told off by my kids!”
Gentle giant Dudley the four-year-old Bull Mastiff was adopted by Fleetwood couple Harry and Joanne Drewery and their 13-year-old daughter Hannah, just three months after their beloved elderly Mastiff Bruno lost his battle with cancer.
Mr Drewery, 50, said: “I came home from work one day and my wife was holding the paper with the picture of Dudley in it. That was when we decided to go and have a look at him.
“I love Bull Mastiffs. I think they’ve got a face that only a mother could love. I fell for him straight away and when I saw my wife stroking him it really hit her how much we needed a lad like him in the house.
“He’s already a part of the family. He’s got my old dog’s bean bag and he’s laid claim to that. My wife’s already taken more than 40 pictures of him.”
Lola the Podenco cross breed started out her life starving on the streets of Spain. Now she is enjoying hearty meals and walks in the park with her new owner Paula King and her two 12-year-old children Charlie and McKenzie in St Annes.
Ms King, who works as a teacher, said: “Even though the sanctuary said she was a street dog she can sit and do ‘paw’ and goes on her bed when she’s told. She’s a really good natured dog. The children are absolutely besotted with her.”
But Harry the Border Collie, Chalkie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Gizmo the Rottweiler, Biscuit the Yorkie, Keisha the American Bulldog and JD and Stella the Cocker Spaniel couple have not been so lucky.
Miss Leigh said: “It’s always the Staffies that we have the most trouble rehoming because they have such a bad reputation, which is a real shame for such a lovely dog.
“I’m disappointed about JD and Stella the Cocker Spaniels. I think that people are reluctant to take on two dogs. I will split them up if I have to but they are so bonded. If one of them stops to have a sniff the other one will too. They’re like twins.”
She said: “I’m so grateful to The Gazette for what they have done. Apart from the dogs we have rehomed, it’s brought a lot of people to Easterleigh and it’s put us back on the map. I’ve been replying to emails from people asking about animals at 10pm. People who have seen the campaign have phoned us up asking if we do cats as well, and we’ve rehomed three cats through it. One lady offered to pay for grooming for the Cocker Spaniels. It’s more than we could ask for.”