Second chance at happiness for elderly dog thanks to charity scheme

An elderly dog left behind after his owner sadly died has been given a second chance at happiness thanks to a charity scheme which helps canines find a loving home when their owners pass away.

13-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Russ, was handed over to Dogs Trust Ilfracombe by a family member after his owner sadly died and the next of kin unfortunately couldn’t care for him. Thankfully, Russ’s owner had signed up to Dog’s Trust's Canine Care Card, a free service that aims to give owners peace of mind, knowing that Dogs Trust will look after their dog if the worst should happen.

When Russ first arrived at the rehoming centre, he was understandably missing his home comforts but he spent several days relaxing in our reception office with plenty of company, love and attention from our staff to help him settle.

It wasn’t long before Russ caught the eye of a loving new family, and within two weeks, he was settled into his new home with the Ruhleman family from Barnstaple.

Russ’s new owner, Nicki Ruhleman, said: “I had been looking on the Dogs Trust website for some time and, when I saw Russ, I felt he would be a wonderful addition to our family. My daughter, Heidi, has always been a little bit nervous around dogs however being a slightly older, calmer boy, Russ has fitted in perfectly and has helped to reassure her. They are now the very best of friends and do everything together and we simply can’t imagine being without him. We are determined to make his time with us fun and loving.”

Amy Bingham, Supporter Relations Officer at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe, said:
"We’re really pleased that Russ has been able to have a second chance at happiness through the Canine Care Card scheme. Many dog owners worry what might happen to their dog if they were to pass away first, leaving their beloved four-legged friend without an owner. However, the Canine Care Card scheme offers reassurance to dog owners, and also helps to ease the minds of friends and family during what is already a distressing time.

“For those who sign up to the scheme and sadly pass away, Dogs Trust will arrange for their dog to be taken to the nearest rehoming centre with kennel space, where they are examined by our on-site vet and cared for by dedicated staff."

If you decide to become a Canine Care Card holder, Dogs Trust issues a wallet-sized card which acts in a similar way to an organ donor card and notifies people of their wishes for their dogs, should anything happen to them.

Dogs Trust works hard to match every dog with a responsible, loving home. If for any reason a dog cannot be rehomed, owners can rest assured that Dogs Trust never puts a healthy dog to sleep and will care for them for the rest of their lives.

To find out more about the Canine Care Card scheme, please contact Amy Bingham, Supporter Relations Officers at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe on 01271 817716.