Fostering puppies in Audlem

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Last week we welcomed two new foster puppies into our home in Audlem, our seventh litter in two years. 

The pups, Bobby and Rosie, are 10 months old. They arrived in a dreadful condition — severely emaciated and they had obviously been treated badly.

We cannot mention the exact circumstances of their previous life as there is a possibility of prosecution.

There is often a sad story behind the puppies we foster. We have cared for a bitch and six pups who were involved in a murder incident — the pups' father was stabbed but fortunately survived and the bitch and pups were unharmed.

Three pups who had been neglected and left with untreated mange and arrived practically hairless. Ten saluki-type pups, whose owners were unable to afford food for them; three unwanted farm pups that were rescued from drowning, by a lovely lady from Audlem (who subsequently gave one of the pups a home!)

#Difficulty coping
In other cases, the owners, whilst caring for their animals, are having difficulty coping and call the RSCPA for help.

Our most recent pups came from a lady in social housing whose landlords insisted she re-home some of her animals. The household consisted of five children, six cats, male and female
adult dogs and six pups (the third litter from a 4-year old bitch).

The youngest pups we have cared for were just 3-days old. The owner called the RSPCA after the bitch rejected her puppies and one had died. Despite our best efforts, including bottle feeding around the clock, we lost three puppies in the first four days. Three pups survived out of a litter of seven.

Puppies who have been neglected or abused all behave in a similar way when they arrive at our home. They are very anxious and don't play like puppies should do. They can't settle, jumping at the slightest noise or unexpected movement.

Amazingly, after just a few hours in a calm environment with a few kind words, cuddles, food and water they seem to trust almost immediately. After a week the change is remarkable.

Bobby and Rosie were no exception. Slavishly devoted to me after just a few hours they would not leave my side. They never put their guard down, never relaxing, constantly alert for every noise or movement. Frantic eating when fed.

They are both expert at removing drain covers to access water in the drains. Bob ate his faeces. Mealtimes needed to be carefully supervised as they ran from bowl to bowl (with Rosie eating the majority).

#Amazing progress
As I write this, nine days since they arrived, Bobby and Rosie have made amazing progress. They both weighed 5kg when they arrived. I have just weighed them and they are 9kg! Their coats are shiny and their eyes are bright.

Their behaviour has also changed. They now feel secure enough to relax, no longer following me around everywhere or reacting at the slightest noise or movement. Recently Rosie felt secure enough to offer me her tummy for stroking, it was a humbling moment knowing that she trusted me so completely.

Yesterday, for the first time, they did some 'puppy playing' together. Their eating has calmed down, although to watch them feed, you'd still think they'd not been fed for a few days. Bob has stopped eating faeces. House training is going really well although some work is still needed. 

Fortunately, we find re-homing puppies in this area relatively easy. However, Bobby and Rosie are older at 10-months and people prefer to take younger pups. They have also suffered more and will need a lot of love, patience and understanding.

#A good home
We hope that this article will help to find these two puppies a really good home.

Bobby and Rosie are Border Collie crossed with Jack Russell. They have been living with young children, cats, an older dog, guinea pigs and hens! They are both extremely loving and intelligent. 

If you would like to chat about the possibility of taking either Bobby or Rosie into your lives, please call Rita Tillin (Crewe Nantwich & District Branch of the RSPCA) on 07775 881220. 

The Crewe Nantwich & District Branch of the RSPCA, like all branches, receive little or no money from the RPSCA HQ. They are responsible for raising all their own funds and, because it is run by volunteers, all money raised goes directly to the animals in their care. The average cost to rescue one dog is £500.

If you would like to make a donation, volunteer as a fosterer, dog walker or would like to help at the Dog Show & Fundraising Day in May, please call Rita on the above number.