Britain’s most lonely dog has finally found a home after spending almost five years in an RSPCA animal shelter. During an investigation, RSPCA inspectors saved a lurcher named Albie, who was kept in their care while the case was looked into. Albie was saved just before Christmas of 2017.
However, the Covid pandemic struck after it was finished and he was made available for adoption, making it difficult for staff at the Southridge Animal Centre in Hertfordshire to place him in the ideal home. Albie was rescued by the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit from Wales, where he had been used in wildlife and hunting crimes.
The manager, Anna White, said: “Unfortunately, Albie was a Covid victim and became available for adoption just before the nation went into lockdown, so we had to close our doors to the public in order to abide by the restrictions.
He is such a sweet boy when you meet him; if someone came in looking for a dog in person, they would undoubtedly fall in love with him. But since we had to rely on online advertising for our pets, we discovered that he was frequently passed over and received very few inquiries.
But the group insisted on sticking by him. Grace Ho, a West Londoner, decided to give him a chance after viewing his online profile. “I had lost my dog in April and had finally come around to the idea of volunteering or rehoming a dog, but I had imagined a small Staffie or a spaniel, not a dog like Albie,” she said.
But it hurt my heart to see from his profile that nobody was interested in him. Because of his scars and partial nose loss, I think the majority of people assumed he was a scary dog and never gave him a chance.
“I went to the center and asked if I could meet him, go for walks with him, and see how we got along. I spent about two months taking him for walks, getting to know him, and learning all about his quirks and his reactivity to other dogs. By the end of that time, I felt comfortable handling those issues.
“Albie is incredibly beautiful. He always smiles and has a kind heart toward people. Clearly, there is a lot to do, but I have faith in my ability to handle it, and he has already made some progress.
In September, Albie moved in with Grace and is doing well. Grace continued, “He enjoys his food, snuggling on the sofa, and going for walks. He wears a muzzle while out and about and is reactive to other dogs, but Grace isn’t put off by either of those things.
“We walk in a quiet park near our house on weekdays and then go to busier parks on weekends, where I know we’ll have to meet other dogs, and I’m working hard to desensitize him as much as possible; he’s already made friends with two greyhounds who he’s happy to walk with,” she continued.
He behaves so well at home. He is not requesting much. He is only interested in a warm bed and a full belly. He will climb up onto the sofa next to me while I’m working and tuck his head behind my back because he wants to be close to me.
Anna and the rest of the Southridge team are overjoyed that Albie has finally found his happy ending after such a challenging life and spending so much time in kennels. It just proves that there is a home for every dog, Anna continued.
In an effort to increase public awareness of rescue animals and persuade more people to think about adopting a pet like Albie, the RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober rehoming campaign.