RSPCA Cymru's longest-staying dog is adopted in time for Christmas

Credit: RSPCA Cymru

The longest-staying dog at an RSPCA Cymru animal centre has finally found his forever home – just in time for Christmas.

Charlie, who was rescued from a run-down barn and had never been outside before, has been adopted after almost two years at Newport Animal Centre.

He was one of 45 dogs rescued from conditions that were “completely out of control” on a farm in Ceredigion – but was the only one from the group that had been yet to find a home.

The "sheer quantity" of dogs found on the premises, including Charlie, meant that they weren't getting their basic needs met. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

When Charlie first arrived at Newport Animal Centre, he was so nervous and withdrawn that he didn't leave his kennel for weeks.

He’d never even worn a collar or been on a walk.

But, after plenty of love, attention and patience, Charlie completely "transformed" with the perseverance from his new owner Bethan Davies, from Brecon.

"Cheeky chappy" Charlie leaving RSPCA’s Newport animal centre, where he spent almost two years. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

Bethan made numerous trips to the rehoming centre to build up a bond with Charlie, who in turn also had "days out" at her house so that he could become gradually familiar with his new surroundings.

Three months on, Charlie is very much at home with his new family.

Bethan said: “I’m really proud of the progress Charlie’s made; he’s a different dog to the one that came home with us initially. There’s still a long way to go, but he’s a much more confident lad now. He’s made lots of doggy friends and is becoming happier and more at ease when meeting new people. 

“When he was first settling in, he didn’t want to leave my side, but I’ve noticed he’s becoming more confident spending time in different areas of the house without me and doesn’t feel the need to follow me around everywhere anymore. "It’s been hard work at times, and there have been a few little wobbles along the way, but I’m so proud of what he’s achieved so far.” 

Charlie is thriving in his new home alongside his new canine companions, a collie called Lily and basset hound Del. Credit: RSPCA Cymru

Hayley Moorey, the centre’s behaviour and welfare advisor who, along with other centre staff, spent many months rehabilitating Charlie, said: “Like the rest of the dogs in the barn, he’d experienced very little human contact... so his transformation has been quite incredible.

“Because of his background, he understandably needed a specific type of home, somewhere fairly rural and quiet with a large secure garden where he could get used to different noises slowly and do things at his own pace.

"His sociable nature also meant we were ideally looking for someone that had other dogs who Charlie could learn and gain confidence from."

Staff at the RSPCA in Newport have long been working hard to find Charlie a forever home Credit: RSPCA Cymru

“We knew that finding a home that met all of these requirements might take some time, but we sensed that Charlie wanted more from life and we were determined to do everything we could to give him the happy ending he deserved.  

“Everyone here is incredibly grateful to Bethan for her patience and perseverance. Not many people would have travelled to an animal centre as many times as she did to get to know a dog, but she was committed to Charlie right from the beginning. She’s taken things very slowly and we are over the moon at how he’s settled in with his new family.

“It’s been a very long journey for him, but we’re hugely relieved that he’s found a wonderful home where he can thrive and flourish - it makes all our hard work with dogs like Charlie worthwhile.”