A black and white labrador cross gazes into the camera as her smiling owner wraps an arm around her

From homeless to holiday fun

Poppy is living life to the full...

Imagine going from a life of long walks, swimming and playtime to living in a car, with no place to truly call home.

Homeless and sleeping in a car, life for much-loved pet Poppy and her owner had taken a sad turn after years of happiness together.

Desperate to give Poppy the life she deserved, a tough call to Blue Cross led the friendly labrador staffie cross to a new home filled with love and fun.

Black and white labrador cross dog runs towards the camera with her tail wagging
Poppy has settled into her new home after 97 days in Blue Cross care

Walks on the beach, swimming in streams and camping trips in the Lake District are keeping Poppy happy and healthy now – a far cry from the cramped conditions of a car.

After rescuing Poppy as a one-year-old pup, the bond between the lovable lab and her owner had grown over nine years.

Unexpectedly homeless, Poppy’s owner made the difficult decision to contact our Blue Cross centre in Manchester for help with his beloved pet.

That call made a huge difference for the 10-year-old dog, who has found her new forever home thanks to the dedicated support of our team.  

Black and white labrador cross dog is stroked by her owner as they sit by a red leather sofa
Poppy gets plenty of attention from her new family

Poppy’s story is not unique – in the first half of 2023, 55 per cent more pets were given up for what their owners told us were “financial reasons” than during the same period in 2022.

Bubbly and confident Poppy was transferred to our rehoming centre in Suffolk, where she became a firm favourite during more than three months in Blue Cross care.

A black and white labrador cross dog lies by a tent with a view of rolling meadows and grassy mountains
Poppy now enjoys camping trips

“Poppy was one of our long-stay dogs who spent 97 days in Blue Cross care, so we’re delighted she’s found such a lovely home,” explains Charles White, Suffolk centre manager.

“Being a slightly older dog, Poppy was with Blue Cross for longer than average, but she’s found best friends in her new family and she’s loving life with them.”

Black and white Poppy’s photo caught the eye of a nature-loving family who were looking for a rescue dog with plenty of personality and experience under her collar.

Instant connection

Travelling from Southampton to meet Poppy, adopters Jess and Chris Parsons felt an instant connection with the affectionate lab.

“We turned up to meet her and made our decision in the first 10 seconds,” says Jess, 40, who works as an education officer for a regional wildlife charity and grew up with lurchers.

“Poppy came straight out to meet us wagging her tail, so it was pretty instant and clear she was the dog for us.

“Poppy’s got a different bond with each of us but she’s such a friendly dog, she really likes people.”

The couple and their three-year-old son Tommy have fallen in love with Poppy since she’s become part of the family, enjoying regular woodland walks, trips to the beach and riverside hikes.

A black and white labrador cross dog relaxes on a golden pebbly beach under a blue sky
Poppy can relax on her local beach

Indulging a love of nature and wildlife alongside Poppy’s zest for life and doggy fun, a camping holiday to the Lake District meant all the family could get active in the great outdoors.

“Lots of people asked us why we didn’t get a puppy as we had a young child but for us, having an older, gentler dog is so much better with a child,” adds Jess.

“Tommy is definitely her favourite though, she’s all over him with excitement when he gets back from pre-school.”

Fresh air and fun activities are now part of Poppy’s daily routine – and days spent in the confines of a car are long-forgotten.

A black and white labrador cross dog relaxes in her bed surrounded by a cosy blanket
Poppy has plenty of space to chill out in her loving family home


— Page last updated 18/12/2023