‘Hero’ dog who helped find missing friend still awaits his forever home

An unwanted rescue dog who has been waiting months for his forever home hopes his heroism will bag him a new family – after he helped find his frightened, missing friend.

Two-year-old lurcher George was drafted in to help locate his anxious friend, Louis, who went missing just a few days after being adopted by his new adoring family.

Staff at RSPCA Lancashire East branch, in Accrington, were thrilled when they found Louis the perfect new home and waved him off with his new family on 7 January. But disaster struck just a few days later, on 10 January, when the Saluki-cross was spooked while out on a walk and managed to slip his collar and harness.

Centre manager Jeanette Ainscough said: “Louis was always a nervous boy by nature but, while he was with us, he and George struck up a beautiful friendship. They adored each other so while we were thrilled when Louis found his new family we were heartbroken for George as he was left behind.

“When Louis’s new owners got in touch to say he’d escaped during a walk we were very worried. Despite lots of searching, the help of a local tracking group and numerous sightings, Louis was just too scared to allow anyone to approach him. RSPCA staff went out to help with the search too but had no luck.

“He’d been missing for well over 24 hours so we decided to bring in the big guns: George. Animal care assistant Emily took George to the area of Towneley Park, Burnley, Louis had been seen in and walked him around the area. They spent over two hours walking but, without a single sighting, they were just getting ready to call it a day when George stopped and froze to the spot, staring at a specific area in the distance.

“Then, out of nowhere, Louis appeared. He calmly walked over to George and the two dogs happily greeted each other, tails wagging; pleased to be together again. Emily was able to slide a slip lead over Louis’s head and took him to his owners who were absolutely over-the-moon.

“George loved his day out and was an absolute star, helping us to catch Louis. He was the hero of the hour! I’m sure that if George had not been with us we may still be looking for Louis today.”

George was taken into rescue after being abandoned in a wooded area. He was rehomed but sadly his new owners couldn’t handle him so they returned him and the RSPCA was asked to take him on for behaviour work. He arrived in RSPCA care in June and behaviourists began working with him on his high prey drive and his over-excited nature, which can sometimes lead him to jump up and mouth.

Jeanette added: “George is such a lovely boy but he does get over-excited sometimes and finds it difficult to contain his enthusiasm! We believe he may have been used for hunting in the past so we’ve muzzle trained him and spent months working patiently with him to calm him down.

“It’s paid off because, although he is still excitable and boisterous, he has learned how to listen when he’s asked to calm down. He really is just a big, bouncy puppy at heart and we know he’ll make the most wonderful companion and pet for the right owner.”

George has been available for rehoming since September but has had no interest but staff hope his recent heroism will lead to a flurry of interest in him.

George is a livewire who needs an owner with experience with energetic dogs. He’d benefit from ongoing training and continued socialisation. Although he loves other dogs, some can find him a little overwhelming so he’ll need to learn how to be calmer when meeting new dogs.

He needs to wear a muzzle when he’s off-lead as he does have a high chase instinct but he walks nicely on the lead and loves to get out and about. He’d like an active home and could live with other dogs, pending a successful introduction.

He may need some time to settle into his new home and routine before new owners can begin teaching him how to be home alone.

Find out more about George on Find A Pet or contact the team at Altham Animal Centre on info@rspca-lancseast.org.uk or 01254 231118.

George