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A black dog with a tennis ball in her mouth
Photograph: RSPCA

London’s loneliest dog has finally found a home

Poor Hattie has spent more than 500 days in a rescue centre

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

It’s been a long couple of years for Hattie, the floppy-eared cocker spaniel who arrived at the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar back in August 2020. 

After spending 500 days in kennels – making Hattie the longest-serving resident at the centre – the RSPCA launched an appeal to find her a forever home. Now things are looking up: after Southridge centre was inundated with applications, Hattie has finally found a suitable home thanks to new owners Dean and Tracey Blackmore.

The couple saw the RSPCA’s call out and started visiting Hattie two months ago after losing their own rescue dog last year. After fitting the criteria, Hattie left Southridge on Sunday and is now settling into her new digs in Surrey. 

Hattie was originally brought to the rescue centre because her owners found aspects of her behaviour difficult. Because of her additional needs and high energy levels, the two-year-old pooch requires a lot of stimulation and exercise, and has struggled to find a new home since. 

Cathie Ward, an Animal Care Assistant at Southridge, said to MyLondon that Hattie gets ‘frustrated quite easily – she’s very active’. 

‘She does like being around people, but it takes her some time to actually get to know you,’ Ward said. ‘You can’t do too much too soon with her. It’s just finding that experienced home with someone who’s willing to actually work with her.’

Ward said: ‘Once she knows people, she does calm down a lot – she’s lovely and very cuddly, but it does take a while for her to get to that stage and to trust you.’ 

Dean and Tracey are working with a dog behaviour expert who specialises in helping owners overcome Hattie’s issues, so that she can receive the help she needs to settle in comfortably with their family. 

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