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Ruby Finds a Home after 8 years with Freshifields Animal Rescue

Back in 2011 a gorgeous little Jack Russell Terrier puppy called Ruby found herself in the care of Freshfields Animal Rescue centre. We all fell in love with her right away, and were sure that she would find a home quite soon.

We couldn’t have been more wrong….

Ruby was adopted, but unfortunately came back to us a year later, as she was displaying quite extensive behavioural issues. Ruby’s needs were some of the most complex we have ever encountered. Dawn Hurst, Operations Manager, said: ‘Ruby just didn’t seem to process things in the way other dogs did. She would appear to be friendly and welcome a fuss, but would then bite ferociously in defence! She couldn’t bear anyone touching her if she wasn’t up to it, which made visits to the vet a real trauma for her. Ruby was certainly a feisty girl, and one we grew to love here at Freshfields. Over the years a small group of volunteers learnt to understand Ruby and her behaviour. She shared special walks and adventures with them, and we got to see the sweet girl that she could be. Deep down, we knew her prospects of rehoming were slim. We could not quite believe our luck when a lady called Ursula Fitzpatrick contacted us in June to express an interest in Ruby! Ursula is a keen Terrier owner, and after recently losing her rescue Jack Russell Terrier (who had similar issues to Ruby) she was now ready for her next challenge! Ursula began travelling over an hour to meet Ruby 3 times a week, and was not deterred when Ruby did not greet her enthusiastically in the beginning. It took several months and lots of consistent and gradual ‘getting to know you’ sessions until we began to see a bond blossom between the two. Our incredible staff, along with volunteers Breda and Vikki, were so determined to help Ruby find the home of her dreams. They took Ruby to Ursula's home for day visits so that she could familiarise herself with the new environment. After spending most of her life in a rescue centre we didn’t know how Ruby would respond. We were amazed and delighted when Ruby trotted into Ursula’s home and ran around exploring as though she had always been there! Ruby finally went to her new forever home in Shropshire ion 1st November. The connection between Ursula and Ruby is incredibly moving and wonderful to see, and makes every minute of this long process worthwhile. We know that Ruby and Ursula will continue to face challenges, and we will be there to support them every step of the way. We are so thankful to Ursula for her sheer determination and commitment and for giving a dog like Ruby a second chance.

Ursula said: ‘‘Ruby is a difficult dog with significant behavioural issues. I would say to any adopter that you need to be very realistic in taking on a dog like Ruby. She will never be most people's 'ideal dog'. I've been seeing Ruby several times a week for 4 months. The Kennel staff and volunteers have been fantastic in introducing Ruby to me. I’ve worked closely with them and taken their advice. I find it very rewarding to work with problematic dogs and Ruby suits me. Even very small improvements give me tremendous pleasure and it's a real joy to rehome a dog that's been in Kennels for so long’.

Debbie Hughes, PR and Communications for Freshfields, said: ‘Ruby is another example of why we never give up on any dog here at Freshfields. We have no doubt that Ruby would have been put to sleep should she have found herself anywhere else but at Freshfields. Every life matters to us, and we make a promise to be there for all of our animals for all of their lives. We are proud of our values, which we try to live by every day.

Thanks to our dedicated and compassionate supporters in our community, we can be there for them, and strive to find that special someone for all of our dogs. As Ruby's story shows - you should never stop trying!

‘It might take 8 years, it might take a day, but here at Freshfields we’ll find a way!’

Pictured is Ruby with Ursula’s friend and dog walker Annie Conde, living her best life with a future of love ahead of her. Congratulations both! Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible. You can find out more about the many dogs still waiting to make their miracle happen at our website or call us on 0151 931 1604.

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