Posted 2 months ago ago
Bella the beagle- lurcher cross (Image: RSPCA Millbrook)
Bella has come a long way since the RSPCA took her into their care 17 months ago, but sadly she is still looking for a loving home to take her out of kennels once and for all.
The beagle-lurcher cross, who is only two years old, arrived at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham, Surrey, in February 2020 – and she has been there ever since.
The poor pup had been in four different homes by the time she was just seven months old and that left her with some emotional scars. The pandemic has played a big part in the delay in finding Bella a new home, but she also has very special needs to be met.
Liz Wood, deputy manager at RSPCA Millbrook, said: “We have had a lot of applications but only a few have been the right home and although a few families have been to meet Bella, they haven't gone through with adopting her.
“When Bella came to us, she was very scared and very under-socialised with dogs, people and the environment. Also being a typical young dog who has had little or no suitable training, her attention and recall with people was limited.
“Bella is now a different dog to the one that arrived at the centre. She was terrified of everything and her behaviour was very challenging. But she is much more confident and has learnt good manners with people and other dogs.”
She has made a number of canine friends at the centre but – sadly for Bella – most of them have gone on to find new homes, leaving Bella behind.
Liz said: “She is quite boisterous so they have to be energetic dogs that love to play. She is a very high-energy dog and would run around all day if she could. While at Millbrook, Bella has shown her clever side and knows sit, down and paw and she is very good at agility.”
She currently has a good routine in the kennels and has found the things she loves to keep her happy in care. She loves going for long walks in the 40 acres of fields placed behind the centre and running through the long grass and playing in the stream.
“Bella also has a love for footballs and is learning to bring them back to swap for another. Be prepared to get her a paddling pool especially in the hot weather as she loves water.”
But even having been on a number of appeals in the local and national press, including an appearance on a live TV show, she still hasn’t found her forever home.
Liz says although she can enjoy her life as it is, her character can soon change once something or someone scares her and she turns into a dog that struggles to cope. In her last home Bella was living in a flat and couldn't cope with the surrounding noises from the other properties so Bella is NOT suited to living in a flat.
What kind of home will Bella need?
-Looking for a very experienced adult only home, with no regular visiting children. She is looking for a home that has experience with scent/sight hounds. BELLA WILL NEED TO BE HOMED CLOSE TO THE CENTRE, ideally within a couple of hours.
-Looking for a RURAL DETACHED PROPERTY as she would not do well in a built-up area as noises and unfamiliar people worry her. Bella will need a large, well-enclosed secure garden to run around in as in public she will need to stay on lead.
-She will need someone based at home that is not working from home. She will need a lot of attention and training. Bella did not cope very well in her last home so she will need help getting used to living in a home environment and new owners will need to be patient with her and not be too house proud.
-Bella gains confidence from dogs she knows but lacks social skills around them so there is a possibility that she could live with an older, active neutered dog but it would depend on introduction and it may take quite a few introductions to see if it was a good match.
-Bella has improved with dogs but there are still occasions with unfamiliar dogs where she is reactive and starts her very loud hound barking so she will need to be walked in places where there are not lots of dogs around and she can work around dogs from a distance.
-Bella can be strong on the lead so she needs owners that can hold her.
-Patient and calm owners needed as any wrong training or handling of Bella will be detrimental to her emotional state. At Millbrook she has shown she can form unique bonds with the staff who care for her, with time and kindness. New owners need to be very understanding and will need to understand that it may take several months for Bella to settle into a home and that it may not be an easy adjustment.
-She needs a very active home. Bella is also a very clever dog so she will need lots of mental stimulation too. Owners will need to spend time teaching her to be calm to balance out her active side.
If you think you could give Bella a loving and stable home, contact Millbrook Animal Centre.