Puppy Betty lying in front of a radiator on red and blue blankets

New year joy for puppy dumped before Christmas

Betty sitting in front of a Christmas tree about to open her Christmas Eve box
Betty with her Christmas Eve box

A puppy found abandoned two weeks before Christmas in a cardboard box is starting 2022 in a new home.

Betty, a six-week-old jack russell terrier, was taken to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Hertfordshire by a dog walker who found her dumped on a local common.

We were upset to see that her tail had been docked – which is illegal in England except in a small set of circumstances – as well as being underweight and having a slightly unusual gait, though didn’t appear to be in pain.

With the festive season fast approaching, she was transferred to our Burford site in Oxfordshire, where one of the team members had offered her a warm and loving home for her first Christmas.

Jade Griffiths, Animal Welfare Assistant, says: “When I was asked if I would foster Betty over Christmas, without hesitation I said yes! 

“She was such a tiny little thing, but she had so much personality and sass already – a typical terrier. I knew about her history and how she was found, so I endeavoured to give her the best first Christmas she could have. 

“Betty slotted in famously with my cat and three dogs at home, as if she had always lived with them, and within minutes she found her best friend in Kingston, my youngest dog. 

“We made sure she had a Christmas Eve box, Christmas presents to open and a small bit of cooked turkey for her dinner. 

Betty curled up in the arms of one of the team, fast asleep

“It was a pleasure to have her in our home over the festive period. 

“Even though toilet training and crate training were still in progress, considering her less than desirable start in life, she did so well. We will always remember this dinky girl, and it was such an honour to be part of her journey.”

As well as ensuring Betty had an amazing, fun-filled Christmas, we also got her all the veterinary attention she needed.

Rachel Hazeley, Animal Behaviour Coordinator at Blue Cross in Burford, explains: “Betty had already had her tail docked when she arrived in our care which is really sad, given she was only about six weeks old.”

Betty sitting looking to camera with a Christmas tree in background
Betty had a wonderful, festive time before finding a new home

Betty was found to have a low grade of a condition called patella luxation, which is very common in small dogs.

Rachel continues: “The condition, in which the patella or kneecap dislocates or moves out of its normal position, isn’t life-threatening and isn’t thought to be painful.

“Some dogs who continue to show signs are candidates for surgery and don’t go on to have any problems at all, others are just managed with appropriate treatment later on in life. 

“Dogs that have the condition shouldn’t be used to breed, similar to conditions like hip dysplasia.”

Betty was soon found a wonderful new home and has started 2022 as she means to go on, surrounded by the love of a family and living life to the full.

— Page last updated 07/01/2022