More than 30 in need pooches have been given a second shot at happiness thanks to big-hearted Star readers.
The Star launched its Give a Dog a Home campaign in partnership with RSPCA Sheffield to alert readers to the high volume of dogs sniffing-out new homes.
Over the past year there have been many tales of success, with 31 of the 45 cute canines featured on The Star’s pages rehomed with caring readers.
Stella White, general manager of RSPCA Sheffield Branch, said: “We are tremendously grateful to The Star for all its coverage of our dogs and we believe that many of these successful matches are in no small part due to the support of the paper and its readers.
“Our role is to re-home and rehabilitate unwanted and cruelly-treated animals and when we see an animal find a new owner, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“To think that we have improved the life of an animal and given them a second chance is a marvellous feeling.”
Unwanted pets, particularly dogs, arrive at the RSPCA branch almost every day.
Some are signed over to an inspector by their owner due to an unforeseen change in circumstances.
Sadly other dogs have been cruelly treated or subjected to terrible living conditions.
They are rescued by inspectors and can arrive at the centre in a shocking state.
Stella said: “We have seen dogs in horrific states upon arrival. Some with fur so matted with dirt and faeces that they’ve had to be completely clipped.
“We had one dog arrive at the centre that was so thin you could see every bone in its body.”
It costs the branch around £1,500 to look after a dog for six months.
This pays for housing, food and exercise, with rehabilitation and medical treatment on top.
Unfortunately for some it can take longer than this to find a new home and it is particularly true for certain breeds.
“We tend to have a lot of Staffies brought to us for rehoming,” said Stella.
“There is a real public misconception about these dogs and they are actually one of the most popular breeds in the UK.
“As with people, their behaviour depends on the dog’s personality and their training and care.”
The charity also needs financial and voluntary support.
Stella said: “The Star’s campaign has been key in alerting people to the fact that we raise the bulk of our charity’s funding and running costs ourselves.
“There is often a misapprehension we receive money from the national RSPCA, but this is not the case.
“The Sheffield branch of the RSPCA costs over £2,000 per day to run.”
To help, make a donation, organise a fundraiser, leave a financial legacy, volunteer or provide stock for the RSPCA’s charity shops.
To find out more about adopting a dog, call 0114 289 8050.
To make a donation ring 0114 289 8057, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Stella White at 2 Stadium Way, Attercliffe, Sheffield, S9 3HN.
When Polly Coram spotted Mia the Staffordshire Terrier crossbreed on The Star’s pages she just couldn’t resist her cute canine looks.
The appeal to find Mia a forever home explained how the five-year-old pooch had a number of health issues after being the victim of cruelty.
She was rescued by the RSPCA Sheffield Branch and treated for a nasty growth on one of her ears.
Hopeful of giving Mia a new lease of life, Polly paid the RSPCA Sheffield Branch a visit.
She said: “I was attracted to Mia because she’s such a loving, beautiful dog and had been looking for a home for such a long time.
“When we met her we couldn’t believe how lovely and friendly she was, given all she’d been through - we fell in love with her straight away.”
Polly and Mia were a perfect match and she quickly moved into her new home in Wisewood, Sheffield.
Five months on and Polly and her husband Richard, say Mia is one happy hound.
Polly said: “We absolutely adore her and she’s made a real difference to our lives.
“I think it’s easy to dismiss older dogs who have struggled to be rehomed, especially when they have health problems, but I’m extremely glad we spotted her in The Star.”