450-day adoption wait for rescue dog who had never worn a collar or been on a walk

A three-year-old border collie who’d never experienced any human interaction after being raised in a ramshackle barn with 44 other dogs, is still waiting for a home to call her own.

Ellie was rescued from run-down premises in Ceredigion by RSPCA Cymru in January 2021 and has been in the care of the charity’s Bryn-y-Maen Animal Centre in Upper Colwyn Bay ever since.

Along with the other dogs, she was completely unsocialised and had never gone outside, worn a collar or been on a walk, but has since come on in leaps and bounds thanks to the hard work, patience and dedication of the centre’s staff.

Fifteen months later and Ellie, along with Charlie at the RSPCA’s Newport Animal Centre, are now the only dogs from the barn who are still looking for their perfect matches, meaning they are now the charity’s longest-staying dogs in Wales.

Bryn-y-Maen’s manager, Victoria Williams, said: “When Ellie arrived at the centre she was unsocialised and understandably nervous. She’d been living rough in inappropriate conditions in a dilapidated outhouse with 44 other dogs and had never experienced a normal life, so we’ve worked really hard to build up her trust and confidence.

“For the first couple of months we’d sit outside her kennel and throw in high value treats for. “Once she was comfortable with that we fed her through the kennel bars before letting her out in the main block, leaving food bowls in different areas and gradually introducing more staff around her.

“The next step was to get her used to a collar and a lead, and about three months after she arrived, she was finally ready to go for a walk. It was really important not to rush Ellie and to let her do everything at her own pace.

“We took in five other dogs from the same farm and whilst they have all been rehomed since, Ellie is still waiting.

“She’s been with us a long time and has seen her friends from the barn all go off to new families, so we’d really love to see her settled and happy in her own home after everything she’s been through.”

Ellie will need a quiet rural or semi rural environment with understanding owners who are going to be able to continue to build her confidence in an adult-only home as the only pet.

Please visit the Bryn-y-Maen website to find out more information about her and how to start the adoption process.

Ellie and the 44 other dogs were removed from the Ceredigion property after the owner agreed to work with the RSPCA when the situation got out of control. Due to the sheer number of dogs, the owner was struggling to meet their basic needs – lack of shelter, parasite control and poor diet were all areas of concern.