Rescue dogs: Oldest Dogs Trust rescue marks anniversary

A rescue dog – a charity’s oldest ever UK resident – is celebrating a year in his forever home.
Ty, a 23-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross, was not expected to live long when he was adopted.

Marking his milestone, owner Bruno di Brito from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, said: “The way Ty looks at us feels like he’s saying thank you for everything.”
Dogs Trust said finding a permanent home for an older dog was rare.
The charity said not only do dogs rarely live as long as Ty, but they often cannot be adopted in their later years due to complex health and care needs.

Cassie Mogford, administration manager at Dogs Trust Bridgend – where Ty was adopted from – said that “strong circumstances” led to his previous owners making the “difficult decision” to give him up, but his health was very good for his age.

She said at the time of the adoption, the new owners were warned that they may only have a matter of months to spend with Ty.
But she added that they “just wanted him to have those home comforts for however long that he had”, making the one-year anniversary “crazy”.
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Ty, along with his owners and staff at Dogs Trust Bridgend, celebrated the anniversary by throwing a party.
Mr di Brito said he “felt complete” when adopting Ty.
“We already had two dogs and hadn’t considered getting another, but when we saw Ty, we knew we had to give him a home,” he said.
“We feel blessed to have him with us. He’s part of the family, and we hope to share many more years with him.”

Ty was only in Dogs Trust kennels for one week, followed by less than a month spent in foster care before his adoption.
However, many older dogs fall into the charity’s “underdog” category of pets and it takes longer than six months to find their forever home.
Ms Mogford said: “When we’re looking for homes for dogs like that, it’s [about considering] where the dog’s going to be sleeping, do they need to go up and down stairs a lot? If they do have medical conditions, can they afford that?
“There’s a variety of things that come with old age.”

How many dogs need homes?
The Bridgend branch currently has 60 dogs on its website which are in need of homes, with about 150 in Dogs Trust care across Wales and more supported through foster placements.
The charity said across the UK it had been a record-breaking year for requests to take on dogs that can no longer stay with their owners.
“Post-Covid, and with the cost of living now added into that, if somebody’s dog comes down with a health condition or something, they maybe don’t have insurance so they can’t cope with it,” said Ms Mogford.
“Or even just caring for a dog without a medical condition. You know, food, insurance, things like that. It’s a lot.”
However, she said the “homes are definitely coming through” with adoption rates remaining steady.

What should people expect when adopting a rescue dog?
Giving advice on what to keep in mind when adopting a rescue, Ms Mogford added: “They have a history. They’ve been in a home before, there are certain things they will have experienced, they’re not necessarily a blank slate. They just need that extra time.
“And maybe look at the older ones as well, because a story like this is really, really rewarding.”

Mr di Brito added: “Ty has changed our perception of senior dogs. Despite having a heart problem, he shows incredible resilience.”