A retired greyhound who spent more than 18 months waiting for a new home has finally found his forever family.
Dec is now living with the Gascoyne family in Chesterfield, after he captured their hearts during a visit to the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust at Rotherham Gate Lodge, Wortley, where he had been living since his retirement from racing.
Shirley Gascoyne fell for eight year old black-brindle greyhound Dec after visiting the kennels and, once she found out how long he had been waiting for a home, she instantly decided she wanted that home to be hers.
Once she knew Dec got on with her two other beloved greyhounds, Bertrum and Porsha – who were also previously living at the Retired Greyhound Trust before she took them in - Shirley welcomed him to the family home in Ashgate.
But Shirley kept Declan’s arrival secret, having decided to treat herself to him for her birthday present without telling her family and friends.
Shirley, who lives with her son Christopher after he recently moved back to the family home, said: “Every dog deserves to have a home and I couldn’t bear the thought of Dec never getting the chance to settle in a loving family, so I couldn’t resist him.
“I usually buy myself a piece of jewellery for my birthday but wanted to do something different this year, so I got Dec instead! Luckily my family were thrilled.
“Dec is an older dog but he is still full of life and loves running round and playing with his toys. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t overlook older dogs – they still make fantastic pets.
“He’s so well behaved considering he’s never been in this kind of environment before. He’s fitted in with the other dogs so well and they’re like a little comedy trio now! I honestly don’t know why it took him so long to find a home.
“It’s fantastic to see him enjoying the little things in life, like watching people outside through the living room window and looking at the birds in the garden. He’s just like part of the family now and I wouldn’t be without him.”
Shirley has been involved with the Retired Greyhound Trust since helping to set up the kennels in 2006 but gave a home to her first greyhound more than 15 years ago. Over the years she has given homes to seven greyhounds and sadly, she recently lost one of her dogs, Isabella, shortly after welcoming Dec.
Shirley added: “People are under the impression that greyhounds need a lot of exercise but they are one of the most placid and relaxed breeds you can imagine. They are quite happy to chill out and please themselves. That’s why they make such lovely pets as they are not demanding at all.”
Roy Cattlin, who runs the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust with his wife, Lynda, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Dec has finally found his forever home. He’s such a loving dog and it was hard to see so many other dogs come and go whilst Dec, for reasons unknown to us, was getting overlooked.
“It sounds like he’s found a fantastic home with Shirley and Christopher and we couldn’t be happier for him! We’re grateful to families like the Gascoynes for giving these wonderful animals the homes they deserve.”
The Sheffield branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust works closely with Owlerton Greyhound Stadium to find a home for ex-racing greyhounds after the end of their racing careers. It is one of the largest regional home-finding centres in the UK.
Earlier this year, the Trust moved from Gosling Moor Farm to its new premises, Rotherham Lodge just round the corner in Wortley, Sheffield, which has enabled them to house more dogs than ever before.
For more information about the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust, to help give a dog a home or volunteer at the farm email email@example.com, visit www.sheffieldretiredgreyhounds.co.uk or call 0114 288 8300.