He’s been crowned the nation’s favourite breed and captured the heart of a celebrity, but a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Star may also be the UK’s unluckiest dog.
Having spent more than 1,800 days – nearly five years – at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, seven-year-old Star has been living at the shelter for most of his life.
His residency is more than three times longer than that of a dog recently touted as ‘Britain’s loneliest dog’, who has been at a shelter for 500 days.
Now, an urgent appeal has gone out to find Star a forever home.
The dog was first admitted to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home in July 2013, after being found by police officers tied up behind a derelict building.
He showed signs of significant neglect, being greatly underweight and having nails so long they curled underneath the pad of his paw. It was clear to staff that this dog was lucky to be alive, so they named him their ‘lucky’ Star.
While the Home’s staff worked closely with Star to help him recover from his physical ailments, his mental scars from neglect took a little longer. Star displayed nervous behaviour when he was out and about, particularly around other dogs and children.
More than five years later, Star has progressed in leaps and bounds. He has learned to walk politely on a harness and lead, to play fetch, sit on command and maintain eye contact when given the ‘watch-me’ instruction.
Staff have been working on his confidence around other dogs, so he needs an experienced owner with the time to continue his behavioural training.
However, despite all this hard work, and as other pets come and go at the rescue centre, Star continues to wait for his special someone to walk through the door. The Home’s staff are now desperate for Star to get a second chance at life so they can say goodbye to their best-known and much-loved resident.
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home kennel manager, Wendy Mullen, said: “Star is such an intelligent, affectionate and playful boy, who has a lot of love to give, so it breaks our hearts that he keeps getting overlooked.
“For many years, our staff have been working hard to find him a new family, because we know what an amazing companion this loveable lad will make for the right owner. He is so deserving of a second chance to feel the love and security only a forever home can provide. Our staff take such good care of every animal that comes through our doors, but a shelter is no place to grow up.”
Incentive for Hibs fans
Staffordshire Bull Terriers were last month named the nation’s favourite dog breed, ahead of Labradors and Cockapoos, in an ITV poll of 10,000 Brits.
Star recently gave Hibernian FC player Marvin Bartley a run for his money when the midfielder came to the Home to challenge the football-mad pooch to a kick around.
Impressed by Star’s ball skills, Marvin has offered an extra incentive to the person who is lucky enough to take him home.
“Star is still a young man, but he’s been at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home for five years and we’re trying to get him a new home,” he said.
“If we can get a Hibs fan, or a football fan (to rehome him), then we will get them a signed shirt in addition to adopting Star because we really want him to get a new home.”
For further information about Star, visit www.edch.org.uk/Star or visit Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home at 26 Seafield Road East, EH15 1EH.
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