Dogs Moana, a Yorkshire terrier and dachshund cross, and Tinkerbell, a jack russell and Chihuahua cross, stand next to each other on the footstool of a chair. They both look directly towards the camera,

Seven dogs abandoned in cat carriers

A group of seven tiny dogs dumped beside a pond in cat carriers are safe now, thanks to Blue Cross.

Moana, Tinkerbell, Ariel, Arthur, Belle, Tarzan and Jasmin were brought to our Southampton rehoming centre after a member of the public said they had found them in a local park.

Five of the dogs were crammed into two plastic cat carriers, while another two were confined to a small wire crate without access to food or water. 

Without microchips, which is a legal requirement for dogs, we were unable to trace their owner.

All seven of the dogs were, understandably, very frightened at first. We carefully assessed them and separated them into groups in which they felt the most secure.

Some of them also needed veterinary treatment for various conditions, such as itchy, poor coats.

Image shows three cat carriers and one small dog crate in a line on the floor of a Blue Cross rehoming centre. Three of the cages have two dogs inside, and one cage has one dog inside. The dogs look sad and cramped.
The seven dogs were crammed into crates without food or water

Tarzan and Jasmine were placed into foster care in Southampton, and Arthur and Belle, the most nervous of the group, stayed at the centre so that our specialist behaviourists could help them overcome some of their fears.

Meanwhile, Ariel was placed into foster care through our Burford rehoming centre in Oxfordshire and Moana and Tinkerbell went to foster carer Christine Tilt, near to our Bromsgrove site just outside of Birmingham.

Caroline Oram, Animal Welfare Assistant at Bromsgrove, says: “When Moana and Tinkerbell first arrived in our care it was clear that they had been through so much. 

“They were so scared that they were trembling. We’d go to their kennel, and they’d huddle at the back and bark. 

“We had no idea what kind of life they had before to understand their needs.”

Seven small dogs stand in a row. They are on lead and their handlers' legs can be seen in the background of the image. Some of the dogs have scruffy coats and others have smooth coats. They are a mix of crossbreeds including Jack Russell crosses and Chihuahua crosses.
Moana, Tinkerbell, Ariel, Arthur, Belle, Tarzan and Jasmin shortly after arriving in Blue Cross care

Moana, a Yorkshire terrier and dachshund cross, was suffering with some hair loss, likely related to stress. She was particularly frightened and relied heavily on Tinkerbell for support.

“Moana especially is very nervous, and Tinkerbell gives her confidence. So, when they were meeting people Tinkerbell would always go first,” says Caroline.

She continues: “We wanted to get them into foster care as soon as possible, as they had been through so much. So, lovely Christine said she would have them.”

Dogs Moana and Tinkerbell sit on the lap of fosterer Christine. All three look very happy.
Moana and Tinkerbell fell on their paws with foster carer Christine

And after just two weeks in Christine’s care, the pint-sized pair, who weigh just 2.5kg each, had already made a remarkable turnaround.

Speaking at Christine’s home on a visit, Caroline says: “They’ve been in foster with her for just over two weeks, and the difference in them is amazing. Their coats are better, Moana’s fur is growing back and she’s more confident now in meeting people. They’re thriving now.”

Christine, who lost the last of her dogs in October, became a foster carer for Blue Cross earlier this year, having been a lifelong supporter of our charity, as was her late husband.

She felt unable to take on another dog due to her age and circumstances and wanted to give something back in return for all the “joy” her beloved dogs had brought her for 40 years.

Moana and Tinkerbell, a jack russell and Chihuahua cross, are her second foster placement and she is looking forward to helping many more dogs in need of that extra TLC in a home environment in the future.

She says: “I’ve had them for two weeks and the change in them has been amazing, they’ve really come out of their shells – especially little Moana. She just needed Tinkerbell all of the time but now she’s a bit more independent. 

“Moana is now quite happy to meet people. You couldn’t get her to say hello to anybody before but now she really wants to meet people. She’s getting a little bit more confident, and a little bit cheeky now, which is lovely to see.”

Christine continues: “Words can’t explain how rewarding it [fostering] is, unless you’ve done it and see that joy – to see them go out of that door happy. Especially Moana, she was quite terrified of everything – she was frightened of her own tail at one point. 

“So now to see her enjoying life, enjoying meeting people and being a dog is absolutely fantastic. I’m looking forward to them getting a lovely home and I’m doing all I can to get them ready – that’s my job, that’s my purpose.”

After nearly a month in our care, Moana and Tinkerbell have found a wonderful new home together where they’re now being showered with all the love they deserve.

— Page last updated 30/03/2022