The charity Dogs Trust is celebrating five years of its Post Adoption Support Service, which provides owners with behaviour and training advice to help dogs settle in their new homes.
The free scheme, available to anyone who has adopted a dog from the charity, has been used more than 300,000 times since it was launched in 2018.
One dog who has benefitted from the scheme is Bear, a collie Malinois cross who was adopted from Dogs Trust’s Evesham centre by Alina and Tony. Bear had previously lived on a farm and was anxious and unpredictable around people and other animals.
On his first meeting with his new owners, he nervously hid behind a sofa.
After visiting Bear several times at the centre, Alina and Tony took him home. However, he struggled to adjust to living in a house for the first time and his new owners asked for support from the Post Adoption Support Service.
A clinical animal behaviourist from the charity visited Bear and put together a training programme to build his confidence. The support continued via email for two years.
Tony said: “With Bear, there wasn’t going to be a ‘quick fix’; we had to take the journey to change together. We made a commitment to him, so giving him back was not an option. Bear is a completely different dog now, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. The three of us did it together.”
Since it was launched, the service has been supported by more than £600,000 from the People’s Postcard Lottery.
Kristina Glover, head of clinical animal behaviour at Dogs Trust, said: “Thank you to the players of the lottery, helping raise funds for good causes, allowing us to help deserving paws! Thanks to our Post Adoption Support, dogs like Bear who need some additional help, are now living their best lives.”
Image © Dogs Trust