She may only have one eye, but Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s longest-standing resident has finally found a home with a retired dog-lover from Middlesbrough.
David Norton travelled 250 miles this week to meet Olivia the Staffordshire Bull Terrier after seeing her on Battersea’s website and hoping he could give her the loving home she desperately needed.
Olivia came into the Home on 15 July 2009 after she was found by a dog warden as a stray near Battersea. Poor Olivia had received an injury to her right eye, which later had to be removed by Battersea vets, and had clearly suffered from a broken leg in the past. Because she was very stressed by life in kennels she was placed in a foster home, where she has spent the last year and a half.
So after 16 months of waiting, Olivia caught David’s attention. He was keen to get another dog after his previous Battersea dog Cleo died eight weeks ago, but he was looking for another very special canine companion. His former Battersea resident Cleo had a cleft palette, one eye, three quarters of a nose and no top lip, and she was well known by Battersea staff, as David frequently travelled from Middlesbrough with her to attend the Home’s regular fairs and events.
David explains: “I wanted to get another dog like Cleo, who was in desperate need of a home. I’ve always taken on the dogs people think of as the worst cases, but to me they are the ones who most need a home. When I saw Olivia online and read she only had one eye and was being fostered I knew she needed a loving home.”
Explaining his thoughts when he first saw Olivia, he says: “I knew she was right for me, as she just jumped up and was a bundle of fun. I felt empty when I lost Cleo, but I am really looking forward to having Olivia to look after.”
Awaiting Olivia in Middlesbrough is her new bed, but David admits she’ll be welcome to sleep on his bed. She will also enjoy long walks in the surrounding countryside.
Battersea Rehomer Heather Wise said: “It’s fantastic that Olivia has finally found a new home. It is always wonderful when an animal finds a new owner, but we are all especially pleased for Olivia, because she has waited such a long time for the perfect match. David travelled a long way to meet her, and we are very proud to rehome animals all over the country.”
Battersea would also like to thank Luci Rochia and her family, who fostered Olivia for a year and a half, dedicating immense time and effort to her training and care.