Tonight sees the start of the new Channel 4 show Animal Rescue Live: Supervet Special and we’ll all be tuning in to watch it!
It’s also the premiere of the new ad wraps that Petplan filmed at our Hertfordshire rehoming centre in Watford for their new #RehomingMoments sponsorship campaign.
Tonight’s story is a real tear jerker as we see the staff gather round to say a fond farewell to one-eyed Staffy cross Max, who is leaving the centre after four and a half years, to live with his new owner Julie.
An older, partially-blind Staffy cross is always going to take that bit longer to rehome but here at National Animal Welfare Trust, we like to take every animal’s situation into consideration, tailoring their care no matter how long it can sometimes take to find that special someone.
Knowing the wait can sometimes be a long one, our Herfordshire centre's dedicated animal care team even set up a Facebook page called Marvellous Max, in the hope of finding the right owner, but no one had come through despite the support.
Then along came Julie who first heard about Max through one of Hertfordshire’s regular volunteers. Julie’s younger sister Kate had already rehomed two Staffies from NAWT, so she was familiar with the way NAWT operated and arranged to visit Max back in March.
At that point Julie was caring full-time for her elderly parents and mother, Dorothy, was very ill with pneumonia. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of Julie getting a dog, so Julie cancelled her planned visit to Max. Sadly Julie’s mother passed away a couple of months later and it was shortly afterwards that her family asked Julie if she wanted to rekindle her interest in Max.
She recalls the first meeting with Max went very well. He was friendly, calm and relaxed, settling himself down quickly in her company.
After bringing her husband Bob back for a second visit, the couple decided to reserve Max to the joy of the animal care team.
From then onwards Julie would visit Max twice a week, at times bringing along her wheelchair-bound father, Peter, who suffers from dementia, so that both he and Max could bond.
NAWT staff and trainers visited Julie and Bob’s home in Basingstoke with Max to see how he coped and to test his reactions to the familiar sounds of the washing machine, door bell and TV.
Our animal care team also provided training for Max and Julie to help her settle him in his new surroundings. Her ambition is to walk Max with another dog she volunteers to walk, but she knows it might take some time while Max get used to his new surroundings.
On the day of her birthday, Julie went up to the Hertfordshire centre to take the dog home. It was an emotional day for everyone as our staff had become very attached to gorgeous Max.
The whole episode was captured on film for Petplan as everyone came out to wave the lovable dog goodbye.
The day after bringing him home, Julie took Max to her dad’s house and the two of them just lay in bed together, with Max simply happy to be stroked.
Julie said: “Max makes such a difference to all our lives. He gives my Dad something to look forward to and Max seems to sense that he’s physically not able to do as much.
"As a full time carer working in the home, Max offers me the chance to get out and about when my twin sister takes over the care of my dad. He’s settling in so well.”
If you’d like to know more about rehoming one of our pets, then please visit our rehoming pages.
Animal Rescue Live: Supervet Special is on Channel 4 tonight at 8pm.