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Rehoming success stories

Over the years, the North Devon Animal Ambulance has successfully rehomed many animals. To give you an
idea of the results we achieve, the following are updates on some of the animals that have found loving
new homes through your support.

For rehoming of animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs, we need a continual supply of caring people who are ready to take responsibility for animals that have often been through a traumatic experience.

If you think you could offer a permanent new home to one of our cats, dogs or small animals, please visit our page about animal rehoming in North Devon.

North Devon Animal Ambulance NewsletterDid you see our headline story about Lucy on the front page of the most recent NDAA newsletter? If so, you’ll already know something about her lucky rescue from a violent and untimely death. Now settled into her loving new home, Lucy is proving to be a Foxy young lady, but more of that later. First, here’s an update from Ian and Sue Jarvis, her new owners…

‘Lucy’s arrival with us was a surprisingly easy event,’ explains Ian, ‘with no ructions, histrionics or problems between new and current family members. Eleven weeks on and we’re able to report that things have only got better. That said, we’re not being complacent, and we fully expect some sort of to-do at some point – but there again, we may continue to be lucky!’

Runs in the fields are speedy and fun

NDAA Rehome success : LucyThe latest pictures of Lucy show that she’s become close friends with springer spaniel Bethan (2) and ‘Heinz-57’ Sam (14), the couple’s other dogs. She’s also filled out nicely to become a lovely-looking athletic dog who loves to run. However, while Lucy has speed, she remains a little short on the stamina, for which Bethan, being of sturdy working-dog stock, is renowned. Consequently Ian and Sue report that runs in the fields are speedy and great fun, but soon have Lucy taking a short breather whilst Bethan continues to quarter the ground in her relentless search for pheasants. A successful partnership is clearly forming along the lines of ‘you [Bethan] put ‘em up, and I’ll [Lucy] catch ‘em’.

For Ian and Sue, the greatest surprise of all has been how loving and trusting Lucy’s been despite the traumas of her early life. ‘With builders around the house and walkers passing regularly, Lucy just has to go out and make friends. She shows no fear, and the only risk to the humans is a long-legged clasp and a wet lick. If anyone has an easy way of dissuading a dog from jumping up with two muddy paws we’d be grateful for suggestions!’

Trusting and trustworthy too

NDAA Rehome success : LucyAs well as showing trust, Lucy quickly showed that she could be trusted too. ‘The lead was very quickly dispensed with as she demonstrated her quick reactions to a recall, and the good habit of always checking where we were when out walking and not disappearing without trace. That said, she’s now clear about the boundaries of her territory, and does her best to check them whenever we go to the fields. This certainly makes taking her out for exercise very easy!’

As mentioned in the newsletter article, there is, however, one little foible which Ian and Sue would love Lucy to lose. ‘I’ve said that Lucy is one foxy lady, and I mean this in a literal sense. She just loves to adorn herself with Eau de Renard, and she seeks out places in which to roll to gain this delightful scent on every possible occasion. Needless to say, Lucy’s becoming well acquainted with the hose and shampoo!’

A second chance in life

What a great dog Lucy is – and how wonderful that she’s now found a stable, loving home where she’s properly appreciated. Summing up the story so far, Ian says: ‘We’re so pleased that we’ve had the opportunity to give her a second chance in life.’ And so, undoubtedly, is ‘Lucky Lucy’.

NDAA Rehomed FerretsI adopted Harvey and Finn from a litter of four when they were 8 weeks old, they are now 8 months and I couldn’t picture my life without them.

During university the boys live with me in Shropshire, being very well travelled and perfectly behaved in the car on long journeys. They live in and have free roam over my bedroom, I often find myself tripping over toys Harvey has hidden or the pair of them curled up asleep on my bed. They are perfect, always using their litter trays and always putting themselves to bed after an hour or two not to wake up again until the evening.

Despite being brothers and the best of friends, their interests differ considerably, Harvey having little interest in food but a big love for toys, and Finn being very much the opposite. It has got to the stage I cannot go out without bringing something new back for them to play with (the squeakier the better) , having had to upgrade the size of their toy box three times already. When it comes to food, Finn especially isn’t fussy. They are fed their complete diet of Vitalin ferret food ad-lib that they pick at throughout the day; however it is the treats they look forward to most. Their favourites include tomato, grape, chicken, raisens and commercial ferret treats. I often find Finn on the hunt for the treat box, and if they ever need a little encouragement to get out of bed in the morning (which is often the case), a shake of the treat box and they are at your feet bright eyed and bushy tailed in no time.

NDAA Rehomed FerretsHarvey and Finn are a big hit with my housemates; I encourage people to handle them as much as possible to get them used to people other than myself. In the future Diana and I hope for Harvey and Finn to attend NDAA events to provide hands on experience and education to the public. Due to their regular handling they never bite, Finn will even give you a kiss if you ask. They are harness and lead trained being walked twice a day around our Devon farm during University holidays, and they have already attended a ‘show and tell’ talk at Leagrave Scout group in Luton to gain experience of elevated noise levels and large numbers of people.

Having had the boys seven months now I couldn’t imagine not seeing their ‘war dance’ when they get excited, or Harvey trying to carry a toy twice his size from one end of the room to the other, or even the pair of them falling asleep on me when I’m in bed watching TV. They are my little boys, and mean the world to me.

NDAA Rehome Success : ArchieArchie is my gorgeous ginger furball and he came to me from the NDAA when he was about 5 months old. When I went to see the cats he was definitely the one who chose me and not the other way around!

He is everything I’d hoped for in a cat and has a wonderful personality. I’m on my own and he’s really great company, he follows me wherever I go and likes to be involved in everything I do. He’s a typical older kitten, playful, nosey and boisterous a constant source of entertainment and fun, his antics make me laugh even when he’s naughty because he’s just so adorable.

He does have a rather strange obsession with running water, he doesn’t like getting wet like most cats but he’ll stare at a recently used plughole for ages and when I’m doing the washing up it’s always supervised! Favourite games are to ambush me from behind the shower curtain or to play fetch with his ball up the stairs, and yes he does carry it down and leave it at my feet like a dog, it’s his party piece!

As well as playful Archie is also a very cuddly cat he loves a lap to curl up or sprawl out on in the evening for a good old fuss and I have my very own furry hot water bottle at night (after he’s spent a while practicing his pounce skills all over the duvet!). I hoped I would get a fun, friendly and affectionate cat and with Archie I couldn’t have been luckier, for me he is quite simply the perfect little ginger mog.

My last much loved moggie Jasper was also a rescued cat, I really believe rescued cats appreciate a good home when they are given the opportunity to have one. Jasper was a lovely companion once he knew he was secure and safe and now I have little Archie, he’s proof that the job done by the N.D.A.A is invaluable. These animals are so deserving of a good home and quite simply without the whole N.D.A.A team Archie and I would not have found each other which now is unthinkable. I would recommend a rescue animal to anyone.

NDAA Rehoming Success : MollyMolly is a Jack Russell Terrier that we rehomed in 2007 to Amanda and Dean, a wonderful couple living in Lostwithiel, Cornwall. Unusually for a terrier, Molly was a little unsure of herself; she was also petrified by cats and hated car travel. There’s nothing like a challenge when you’re rehoming a dog…

Amanda and Dean recently told us about Molly’s new life and the amazing transformation as she enjoys her new life west of the Tamar. What a transformation they reported: Molly is now a seasoned traveller who goes to work with her owners and regularly holidays with them around the countryside. And as well as conquering her fear of car travel, Molly even lives with a cat now – and adores it!

As well as becoming very affectionate, Molly has also developed an endearing mischievous streak and rediscovered her characteristic ‘terrier temperament’ to be a much better breed ambassador! Above all, Molly’s family love her very much and we’re sure they’ll be sharing many years of happiness together.

If you like happy endings and could provide one of our rescue dogs with a happy new home we’d love to hear from you.

NDAA Rehoming Success : LottieIt’s always good to hear how things have worked out for rescued animals. Below are just a few updates on some of animals re-homed by the North Devon Animal Ambulance. Here, in her own words, is a story about one local dog that, thanks to the kindness of North Devon’s animal lovers, is now enjoying a wonderful new life.

Hi, my name is Lottie (formerly Jess) and I’m a 2-year-old collie cross, rescued a few weeks ago by the NDAA’s amazing Diana Lewis, North Devon’s animal angel.

When Diana rescued me, I was in a dreadful neglected state and had to be sedated for repeated washings to get rid of the diesel that had been poured on my coat. My ‘third eyelids’ tried to protect my eyes from this terrible stuff which resulted in them being damaged. They’ll take months to heal so, quite honestly, I don’t look my best yet! Hopefully my eyes will heal in time, but I’ll have to visit the special vet again soon to check my progress. Understandably I am still very nervous and frightened of people, sudden movements, and of being cornered and hurt again. Who wouldn’t be?

After I was rescued a kind couple saw my sad picture on this website. They’d been looking for a special little dog and the next day they came to meet me. I was so excited! At the rescue centre, the NDAA team took good care of me, but what I really wanted was love, care, patience (and pieces of cheese because that’s a lovely treat) and a lovely warm house to live in. As soon as the couple saw me they knew I was the special dog for them and, after going to the vet to make sure I didn’t have puppies, I was delivered to my new home. Since then I’ve been learning about walking on the lead (and have now graduated to being allowed off the lead), taking wonderful walks in exciting fields and woodland and, best of all, learning to trust humans. I go crazy running in long grass in the fields around my home (but not near sheep) as I enjoy this new thing called freedom.

Speaking from my experience at the NDAA rescue centre, I found them to be a nice crowd of dogs – in all shapes and sizes, characters and personalities – and they all need loving homes. Above all, they’re waiting for YOU to come and give them a lovely new home like mine.

Gotta go now! It’s time for walkies and my new owners don’t know I can write (let alone work the word processor…).

Lots of love from Lottie (formerly Jess) XXX

NDAA Rehoming Success : MillieNot all our rescued dogs are able to draft their own testimonial! Usually, it’s the delighted new owners who tell us how their pet is settling into family life. Here’s what Millie’s new owners had to say:

Dear NDAA,

Millie arrived in our lives about two months ago – very shy, nervous and sad. Over the ensuing months we’ve had the greatest pleasure watching beautiful Millie become alive with personality. She’s the sweetest, most well-natured and good- tempered of animals and exceedingly loving. She loves to be cuddled and held, sometimes whimpering with delight at the sheer pleasure of being in our company or when we are playing with her – she particularly loves toy ducks!

Millie is continuing to grow in personality, playing more and more with toys and giving everything and everyone the utmost attention. She is absolutely gorgeous. Since we took her to the hairdresser we can barely walk down the street without people stopping to tell us how beautiful she is and she is lapping up the attention!

Thank you for introducing us to Millie, she has made a huge impact on our lives.

Helen, Rita and Maria

When two cats were recently rehomed by NDAA members Jane and Karen Dennis-Smither, it was the beginning of a challenging adventure for everyone – not least the dogs and wild birds already in residence…

NDAA Rehoming Success : MischiefMischief, a young black and white feral cat was taken into the NDAA’s Misty Unit in 2007 after being caught, along with her three kittens. Mischief wasn’t even nine months old – far too young to have a litter. Pauline, our chairperson, spent days trying to make friends with her – efforts resulting in nothing but ‘greetings’ from a hissing, spitting cat with its claws out.

Lottie was the complete opposite

NDAA Rehoming Success : LottieEventually, the aptly named Mischief was given a companion – a female Bengal called Lottie who quickly came to rely on Mischief, and to treat her as her guardian. Lottie was the complete opposite to the feral Mischief, a docile cat that never put her claws out or tried to bite; a cat so terrified that she spent most of her day on her bed – only coming out to feed when no one was around. Lottie had been bred from time and time again until, after an unfortunate encounter with the ‘wrong boy’, she’d been passed between different people, gradually becoming more unsure and withdrawn.

Lottie eventually ended up in a very noisy house where, when Diana collected her, she was crouching timidly atop a dresser in a six-inch space. Her reaction to being approached? She went rigid and withdrew into herself, obviously terrified as she wondered where she was going next…

The two bonded well during several months in the Misty Centre. By the end of 2007 they were ready for rehoming – but it had to be a very special home, with people who’d make allowance for their different temperaments. Around this time, NDAA treasurer Jane and her daughter Karen had just lost their last cat, Georgie, at 17 years of age. Jane and Karen were on the lookout for two new cats – and were offering the perfect home for Lottie and Mischief.