On Monday 13th October Lola, an 8 month old Staffy, was brought into our Centre. A month previously she had been given away by her owner through a site called Gumtree. Imagine the owner's surprise when Lola turned up on her doorstep, a month after she had given her away. It's possible that she made her way back there, but more likely that she was abandoned.
Not only had poor Lola been abandoned, she was suffering from a head wound and was underweight. Her head wound was an odd shape and although it could have possibly been inflicted by a dog we think it was probably inflicted by a person. Despite this she is such a loving, affectionate dog who just wants to be with people - although she does have a fear of objects like mops. Her old owner called the RSPCA and an Inspector picked her up and brought her into us. For the first couple of hours poor Lola vomited up grapes, which are actually toxic to dogs. We can only think that she was so hungry she didn't care what she ate. She has since seen a vet and is now on antibiotics for her wound. We are confident that she will make a full recovery and find a loving new home!
Free to a good home?
Lola's story highlights the problems with selling pets online. Essentially, unless you thoroughly house check the new owners and keep updated you have no idea where your pet will end up or how it will be treated. Every year we receive over a hundred dogs into our care and many of these have changed owners several times before ending up with us.
Lola is only a young dog and yet has had at least two homes, so firstly we are urging people to seriously consider whether they are in the right position to own a dog, or any animal, before taking it on. This will help to reduce the number of animals every year who are searching for new homes. It's so easy to be swayed by images of cute baby animals, but remember that those animals will grow and will require care for many years. If you think that you're not able to make the commitment that those pets need and deserve, then please resist the urge until you're truly ready.
Sadly, we understand that unfortunately sometimes owners do have to part with their animals due to unforeseen circumstances, and this can be a very difficult decision. When you do have to make this decision please do avoid internet sites wherever possible. It is far more advisable to seek out a place at a rescue centre or a home with somebody known to the family.
Lola's story has only been highlighted to us because she was abandoned with her previous owner. However, if she had been dumped in a different area we would never have known her background, which just makes us wonder how many of the dogs in our care have changed hands via the internet. If you do decide to rehome via the internet, ALWAYS home visit any potential owners before handing over your animal, and ensure you follow up to check how your animal is getting along. Ask all relevant questions and if at any time you feel unsure DO NOT hand over your animal. Remember, every pet deserves a loving home with owners who can provide for all of its needs and as your pet's current owner, you have a responsibility to them. For more information on what animals must be provided with, as stated by the Animal Welfare Act, have a look here.
To view Lola's starring turn on BBC East Midlands Today via BBC iPlayer have a look here!
How can you help?
Would you like to help us to help more abandoned animals like Lola? Now it's easier than ever to support us! Just text LOLA08 followed by the amount you would like to donate e.g. LOLA08 £3 to 70070. We rely on support by kind member of public to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome needy animals in Derby and the surrounding areas. Thank you!
If you're interested in giving Lola a loving home for the rest of her days, please contact the Centre on 01332 344620 or email here.
Communications & Volunteer Manager