Abandoned staffie now in loving forever home after 300 days in RSPCA care

A sweet Staffordshire bull terrier who was rescued by the RSPCA after being abandoned has now landed on his paws in a new loving forever home.

Nine-year-old Staffie Billy was found abandoned in the Camden area of London and brought into the RSPCA Finsbury Park Hospital in London on Saint Valentine’ Day – February 14 – last year.

He was very stressed after his ordeal but the staff at the hospital soon realised just how lovely and friendly he is. He required some dental work, had an upset tummy and also needs on-going pain medication for his mobility. Billy was treated at the hospital until being transferred to RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre in Hertfordshire where the staff came to absolutely adore him.

His placid and friendly nature saw him take a starring role in the charity’s campaign with fundraising company Omaze – with Billy visiting the amazing house that was a prize in a draw raising £3.5 million for the RSPCA, and even having his photo taken with actress and RSPCA ambassador Joanna Page (pictured below).

After over 300 days looking for a home, the celebrity dog was finally adopted by Sue and Bill Greenwood from Harpenden who described him as “absolutely wonderful!”

Sue said: “He settled in quite quickly with us. I don’t know what happened to him before or why someone would abandon him but he’s just been perfect. He’s a gentle, elderly man and is friendly to everyone. Everyone just thinks he’s wonderful because he is!

“It’s funny having both a Bill and a Billy in the house – if I call my husband or the dog they might both answer! They also both have arthritis too so they’re definitely a pair!”

Sue explained that all their married life, Sue and Bill have had dogs and cats and when their last dog sadly passed away in 2021 they were heartbroken so it took a while before they were ready to look at getting another dog again.

Sue added: “We also had a Ukrainian refugee come to stay with us with her two cats so we didn’t want to get a dog whilst they were with us. She left in September with her cats to start her new life and we started looking for a dog in October.

“We had a few false starts, but then we were just looking at the RSPCA Southridge website and I made an appointment to meet Billy as soon as I saw him – as he’s wonderfully handsome! We went to see how we got on with him and before we knew it we were home and there was Billy right beside us. The whole centre seemed to adore him and were so thrilled he had found a home!”

Billy was fostered by his new owners first – but soon made his new abode his permanent home!

“We fostered him for two weeks originally just so we could see how we got on but it didn’t take long before we knew we wanted him to stay with us – and now we hope he stays forever,” said Sue.

“We have had the most wonderful support from Southridge, especially from Anna, the manager. We felt quite daunted in the beginning, mostly because of Billy’s size and strength and not knowing if we would be able to manage him successfully. However, Anna and the team at Southridge have encouraged us, without being “pushy”, and made it clear to us that we are not alone and will have any support that we may need going forward.

“This gave us the courage to follow our hearts and adopt Billy and he has already enriched our lives more than I can possibly say.”

Billy’s starring role in the Omaze campaign last December helped to raise £3.5 million for the charity’s frontline rescue teams – the RSPCA’s Somerset House Draw was the highest ever raise for an Omaze charity partner to date and the money has helped to keep 50 inspectors on the frontline helping animals like Billy, for a whole year.

Anna White, Manager at RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre, said: “Poor old Billy was very confused and worried when he arrived at Southridge, a lot had happened to him in a short period of time, but within a few days, especially after he realised that everyone was kind, caring and had pockets full of treats he soon settled in! Billy is practically perfect in every way, a bit of a canine Mary Poppins, not putting a paw out of place regardless of the situation he finds himself in.

“He had a lot of publicity after the Omaze advert but he hadn’t managed to find his perfect match just yet. I think had Billy looked like anything other than a Bull Terrier type we know that he would have flown out of the centre, it’s so sad that most people are reluctant to see past the breed and their appearance. We know it means that so many lovely dogs remain in rescue centres for extended periods purely because of their appearance, it’s unfair.

“Sue and Bill were our dream adopters, they wanted a dog that would fit in with their home environment and their lifestyle, what he or she looked like was pretty much irrelevant to them, it was the dog’s personality that mattered.

“Billy is a very lucky dog, he has a fantastic home and Sue and Bill are very lucky adopters because they have a fantastic dog. The term perfect match is often used – in this case it could not be more true! We are so grateful to them and it was a privilege for us to facilitate this adoption.”

To find your perfect match, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.

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