Bristol Animal Rescue Centre is hoping to find a forever home for a special resident at the dogs’ home after her transformation from a “scared little dog into a love bug”.
Maddie the French Bulldog had completely shut down and feared people due to being neglected by a previous owner. She was removed from their care and arrived at the centre “underweight, suffering with chronic eye conditions in both her eyes and various other medical issues”. She was terrified of people, to the point where she was almost completely shut down.
After spending more than a year receiving treatment for her eye condition, as well as support from BARC’s behaviour team to learn to trust people again, she had an operation to remove one of her eyes. The operation was a success and Maddie was soon on the road to recovery and beginning to come out of her shell, according to her carer, Rachel.
Rachel said: “Maddie was very scared and confused when she first arrived here and it took a long time for her to be able to trust people. Once she had received treatment for her medical issues and started to feel safe around us, she came out of her shell.
“She didn’t cope very well in kennels, so she started spending quite a lot of time with our reception team in the office during the day, and that’s when we started seeing her quirky personality come to life. She is now very playful and can be quite the diva when she wants to be. She particularly enjoys climbing in and out of recycling boxes and throwing things around, which the team finds funny. She just loves being the centre of attention.”
Unfortunately, Maddie is not a one-off case for BARC as its team sees many animals come through its doors with significant medical issues. Animal home manager, Jodie Hayward explained: “Many pets are going without urgent medical care, particularly during the cost of living crisis and unfortunately we are picking up the pieces.
“More animals are coming into our care with complex needs, and fewer people want to adopt them. We need support to give more of them a second chance at a happy life.”
BARC has told BristolWorld that it is seeing an increase in pets arriving with untreated medical conditions, which means they’re staying longer. The average stay for a dog is up from 85 days to 93 days. The centre has also reported that fewer people are willing to adopt, particularly dogs like Maddie with complex needs.
Maddie will soon be available for donation and would like a home with a loving, patient owner who has a lot of time to spend with her – ideally someone who has a predictable routine. Preferably, she needs to live with someone who has no intention of moving, so Maddie can get to know her surroundings and get used to the home she will live in for the rest of her life. Once she’s settled in, she will eventually need her other eye removed, but the behaviourists and vets at BARC have agreed that this shouldn’t impact her quality of life too much, provided she is settled in a routine and knows her new house well by then.
To help make sure dogs like Maddie get the time, care and forever home they deserve you can donate to BARC’s Spring Appeal by visiting https://www.bristolarc.org.uk/donate/raise-money/spring-appeal/