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Unloved stray to pampered pooch: how you changed Max's life

Poor little boy Max was found abandoned and alone, wandering the streets. He evaded capture for a long time, too scared to accept help from those desperately trying. When finally caught, Max was petrified and consequently too aggressive to handle, leaving his fate uncertain and at risk.

An owner didn’t ever come forward to claim Max, but luckily for him, another organisation stepped in to save this little dog’s life and brought him to our Clacton centre. When Max arrived at NAWT he was completely overwhelmed with fear and required plenty of space. He was underweight and his coat was matted and dirty. He did not want anyone to approach him, let alone handle him so the team gave him the space and time he needed.

Each day, Max made massive improvements and was able to happily wander around the paddocks at the centre, where he was rewarded with tasty treats for his bravery. He was offered plenty of kind words and reassurance and this lifted his mood daily. Part of our Open Paw training focuses on teaching dogs good associations with handling and grooming. Each small step during the training is rewarded, so the dog learns that handling is something nice. This was vital in helping Max to feel safe and secure, which in turn slowly improved his behaviour so that he could accept being touched. With a lot of training and a lot of patience, we were eventually able to work on grooming his dirty, matted coat.

In just a short period of time, Max amazed us all with his transition. We discovered that the thing Max loved the most, and gave him the biggest boost to his confidence, was playing with other dogs! He transformed into a well-mannered, super playful puppy who adored his adventures out with new canine companions. It was clear that this would be an important rehoming factor; for Max to transition easily into a loving new home, other doggy friends would be imperative.

Max’s happily ever after arrived when a couple came along with a charming Collie and a playful Cavachon. Max took to the dogs instantly and then gradually worked on his relationship with his new humans. It wasn't long before we waved Max off to his new life with a family who cherish him.

Max is a real life example of how important a second chance can be to a homeless animal. Without your support, Max wouldn’t have been given that second chance and the ending to his story may not have been such a happy one. You changed this little dog’s life.

To make your donation go even further for animals like Max this Christmas, please support our project on The Big Give, where every donation received between 12pm 27th November – 12pm 4th December will be doubled at no further cost to you.


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