When rescue staff arrive at work, the last thing they want to be greeted by is an abandoned animal.
Sadly, that’s what happened to a Border Collie found outside HULA Animal Rescue in Milton Keynes earlier this year. Live-in member of staff Laura Randall was alerted to the dog, named Chaos, by a member of the public who found her tied to the rescue’s fence.
Laura explains, “Chaos the collie was found terrified and shaking, she was cold and confused and it was a heart-breaking start to the day.
“We try to take on as many animals as we can, and we understand that people can become desperate – however please, please if you have to give up your pet, speak to us first.
“We didn’t know anything about this poor dog, what her favourite food was, what she liked to play with, all simple things like that can help with the transition into kennels.”
It was also clear that Chaos had many behaviour issues and was uncomfortable in a lot of situations. Laura adds, “We knew she would be difficult to re-home, most owners want a ready-made, perfect family dog and Chaos wasn’t that.
“We needed an owner to take her on who understood her collie traits as well as the other issues she had developed.
“It was devastating for the staff because they saw her soft side that most visitors didn’t. Deep down Chaos is sweet but she has definitely had a troubled past.”
Without knowing any of Chaos’ backstory, the staff knew it might be difficult to help her and find her a good home but luckily, dog behaviourist Kay Goddard came to her rescue.
Kay explains, “It’s been a few months since I took Chaos home with me and she is absolutely the most bonkers dog I’ve met.
“We’re working on her problems. She has issues around traffic, she can be nervous around new people, usually men, and she is very panicky.
“She’s a very scared, fearful dog but she’s slowly becoming more excited about life instead of scared of it.
“I couldn’t think of anything better than helping an almost broken dog recover.”
The rescue is urging anyone who finds themselves making the tough decision to relinquish a pet, to reach out to rescue centres first. Although they might not be able to take the pet straight away, they can place your pet on a waiting list and do what they can space permitting.
The staff at HULA still don’t know anything about Chaos’ owner’s situation or Chaos’ past which may have helped them massively in training. Another problem with abandoning a pet is that the animal must be registered as a stray and wait out the seven days to see if their owner comes forward. This delays the process, leaving the dog in limbo as staff make appeals for an owner who will never turn up.
If you’re struggling, the rescue says to contact them or the National Animal Welfare Trust who have six centres across the south of England. They can provide advice or point you in the right direction without judgement.