Boycee had been waiting almost two years and it was in lockdown that the bouncy boxer cross struck lucky.
Rehoming was paused temporarily at the start of the coronavirus outbreak but for a while now, staff have been able to find homes for their dogs through a virtual matching service.
Video-based home checks and socially-distanced appointments have been arranged, either at the Brighton Road rehoming centre or by taking the dogs out to adopters homes.
Chris Barnard, assistant manager, said demand for dogs had risen sharply since lockdown began and this meant many adopters had considered dogs that usually would have been overlooked.
He added: “We believe that a dog is for life, not just for lockdown, so our team has done a fantastic job in matching dogs to the right families during this pandemic.
“Lockdown has been a challenging time for us all but we are so happy to see Boycee finally finding their forever home during this time.”
Alex Barata and Laura Hanton from Redhill chose Boycee because of his personality. He is playful and likes keeping active, either playing a game with his toys or exploring on walks.
Alex said: “When we enquired about Boycee and heard how long he’d been waiting for a home, it made it all the more special to be given the chance to adopt him.
“It’s still early days but Boycee has settled in well. You get so much out of adopting dogs like Boycee and while everyone says he has landed on his paws with us, we feel like the lucky ones to be able to give him a forever home.
“Boycee’s personality shines through because he is nine years old but still acts like a puppy. He absolutely loves training, not because of the treats but because he just loves the structure of it.
“We go on long walks twice a day and we hire a four-acre fenced dog field once a week so he can run free. He comes on trips down to Brighton and Eastbourne with us. We have also been continuing the training the staff at Dogs Trust Shoreham did at the centre to socialise him more with other dogs.”
Between March 23 and July 31, Dogs Trust has had 43,365 calls about rehoming a dog - a 42 per cent increase on the same period last year.
In just one day, the charity had more than 1,000 emails from people enquiring about three dachshund puppies.
There are still other long-term residents at the Shoreham centre that would love a forever home, like Biggles.
Chris said: “We have no doubt Boycee will bring lots of joy into his new family’s lives now and for years to come.
“We are grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support has allowed our specialist teams of canine carers to continue to give these dogs the best care, and find them their perfect forever homes.
“But the work doesn’t stop here – we still have lots of dogs who are looking for their new homes so, if you feel now really is the right time for you to be getting a dog, take a look at our website to find out more, and change the tale for more of our rescue hounds.”
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