The loneliest dog in the UK is still searching for a forever home, after spending more than two years in the care of the RSPCA.
Lovable three-year-old Bob, a Presa Canaria cross, was brought to the animal charity after being found injured and straying in 2019.
Overlooked more than 200 times
Bob has been overlooked by potential new owners more than 200 times during his time at the RSPCA’s kennels, despite two years of behavioural training.
Staff volunteers and behaviourists at the charity’s Birmingham Animal Centre have spent around 18 months working with Bob to help him prepare for a permanent home, but sadly the pooch is still waiting for a loving owner to take him in.
Jake Cowing, who has been taking care of Bob, said: “We spent an extended period of time working with Bob behaviourally and helping prepare him for a new home.
"And then, of course, lockdown hit and delayed us being able to find him a new home.
“He’s such a fabulous lad with a great character and I hope we can find him the right family. But he does require quite a special home so we need to make sure it’s the right match.
“Bob finds being restrained and walking on a lead incredibly difficult and has found kennels really challenging.
"While he may look like a big tough lad he’s actually a really sensitive soul.”
‘An absolute sweetheart’
The charity said some “well-meaning by misinformed techniques” may have been used with Bob in the past to try and help him to walk on a lead.
The RSPCA has worked hard since his arrival to “unpick” these problems and now the pup is able to go for walks again after months of careful, patient and positive reinforcement training.
Bob is a friendly pooch who loves to play and is said to enjoy carrying around a tennis ball so he can chew it if he becomes stressed.
Mr Cowing added: “As we got to know him we discovered that he is an absolute sweetheart.
"He’s very friendly and loves to play. Once he trusts you, he is the most loyal companion and friend you’ll ever find.”
The three-year-old pup became available for rehoming just as lockdown was imposed, forcing the kennel to close to the public for several months.
As Bob needs to spend time with a potential owner first to ensure they are a good match, the charity was unable to facilitate it due to government restrictions.
However, with the centre now partially open again, the RSPCA is keen to help him find his permanent home and hopes that his quirks won’t put budding owners off.
Mr Cowling said: “Since Bob has been with us he’s seen 221 of our dogs go off to their new homes, but he’s still here waiting.
“Ideally we’re looking for a home with a large garden or private land big enough for Bob to exercise and play without the need to go out on lead walks, at least until he’s settled and bonded with his new family.
"We would provide ongoing support and guidance to any continued lead work but we feel he’d be happiest in a setting where leads were not a daily necessity of life.”
“Two years is a long, long time and Bob has spent more than two thirds of his life in kennels.
“While we’ve done the best for him, we desperately want to see him in a home of his own with someone who can give him the life he deserves.
"He has overcome a tough past and is our champion, a survivor and our friend. He’s a big, silly clown who will change the life of his adopters. And anyone who takes him on will certainly change his.”
Staff would like to find an experienced adult-only home where Bob would be the only pet, and said he thrives with routine, familiarity and spending time with his friends.
If you are interested in finding out more about Bob, you can do so on the RSPCA's website or by emailing [email protected]
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