14ish years ago (my husband will correct me if I’m wrong!), my husband’s family took the plunge and adopted a beautiful dog, Georgie, from the amazing Holly Hedge. (Or maybe she adopted them!). Not so long ago, Georgie passed away. This is not a sad story, but a story to celebrate her life, and the impact she had on us, and the memories she has left.

When she was collected from Holly Hedge, she was a rather naughty girl! She was very excitable and hyper which made her undesirable to some of her previous owners, so she was taken back to Holly Hedge several times before she came to us. We couldn’t have been happier that she was taken back and found her way into our lives! With love, care, and a little bit of training (when she wanted to listen!) she became a lot calmer and more manageable. Her nosiness and inquisitiveness never left her, but she managed to stop climbing on the sofa and trying to sit on your head!

We could never thank Holly Hedge enough for taking a chance on us and letting us take home such a wonderful dog. She has given us many years of joy, happiness, and fond memories that we will cherish always. Thank you Georgie, for your companionship, cuddles, and being such a huge part of our family.


George & Marty
George & Marty
Some of our animals and their owners keep in touch with us for years and we always love to hear from them. We get regular updates, (with beautiful photos) about George & Marty, who have now been living like Kings in their forever home for a whole 2 years! Here’s what their owners had to say about them:

‘Where do I start about this adorable duo!!

From the moment we first met them at Holly Hedge they made us smile. George with his playful attitude and Marty a little scaredy cat!! They fitted in with our other cats from the moment we brought them home. They are never far away from each other. In the summer Marty can be seen jumping around trying to catch small flies etc. He like no better than to collect twigs, leaves and feathers, bringing them into the house and playing with them. George pretends that he has found them sometimes!! Who needs cat toys!! Marty also likes to bring in live mice and playing with them. It is all a game to him. In the winter they like their home comforts only going out in the cold and rain if desperate.

George has his own spot to sleep in the corner of the settee and is very put out if someone else is there. He gives them the stare till they move!! Marty on the other hand sleeps on top of the wardrobe, which he shares with other cats. Around 10pm we call them for their dreamies. Marty comes immediately but George prefers to be carried into the kitchen. They have their dreamies and food and are then shut in the kitchen, safe till the next morning. They settle down in their beds, very cosy till the next morning. It is their safe place.

They are just so adorable. Every day they play fight, each egging the other one, no one is ever hurt, ends up dashing up and down the lounge chasing each other. It is like a stampede!! So funny to watch.

Thank you to Holly Hedge for allowing us to adopt this adorable duo, they make us smile every day.’

Alfie was such a popular little chap in the kennels, both with people and dogs and could be relied upon to do a great ‘social’ with another dog, including those who were a little nervous about their new surroundings and in need of a ‘healing paw’ put around them and a friendly face to keep them company on their walks. We loved spending time with Alfie and he really did help so many other dogs along the way here too. And let’s face it, who could fail to smile at the sight of this adorable, cheeky little soul? Clearly not his new owners – it was love at first sight and here’s what they had to say about him:

‘In December 2020 we lost our dear old 15 year old dog. We were in the middle of the second Covid lockdown and feeling pretty fed up. Throughout 2021, our family, including our other 13 year old dog settled into a Covid slump - lockdowns, furloughs, working from home, tiers 1,2&3, cancelled holiday plans, missing family and friends!! Everything was a bit strange, as it was for everyone.

And then this little character came into our lives and as if by magic, changed the energy in our family. 9 year old Alfie is an absolute darling; so funny, cheeky and mischievous and he makes us laugh all day long.

He’s such a people pleaser and is so happy to be back living in a family home. He loves his cuddles and snuggles, hanging out with his family and his wise old doggie friend Bruce. He loves playing with his collection of soft toys and hide n seek under the duvet is his best game.

We’ve taken him on wonderful woodland, parkland and coastal walks and he had a great weekend away in our camper van and a day on the canal. He’s our little explorer who is loving life with us. He’s enriched our family and we thank you Holly Hedge for allowing us to adopt him. We can’t imagine life without Alfie.’

Janja was born on the streets of Croatia, and at just a few weeks old this tiny puppy was found on a rubbish dump severely traumatised. Her rescuers took her straight to the vet where she was examined and given an MRI scan where she was diagnosed with a broken back. The vet advised that it was best for Janja to be put to sleep as she would never walk again and would always be incontinent. Her rescuers took her home to think about what the vet had said, but because this little pup showed tremendous spirit, rightly or wrongly they wanted to give her a chance of life as she had fought so hard to stay alive. This dear little pup wanted so much to live and as the months passed Janja never let her disability hold her back and was such a happy little soul despite having to shuffle around and wear nappies. Sadly, because her rescuers worked and led busy lives, they were finding it hard to cope with a growing puppy who was paraplegic and incontinent and needed so much attention lavished upon her to enable her to enjoy a good quality of life. They reached out to other animal lovers in the area, of which there were few, but some good people came forward to help.... See her full story here

Larry and Barbara (were Sooty and Sweep)
Larry and Barbara (were Sooty and Sweep)
After a long battle with cancer, we lost our beloved Missy, a previous rescued cat who'd had a bad start in life but who we managed to provide a loving home for five years. A house without animals just feels so empty so now that the children were a bit older, I started trawling the animal rescue centres for two kittens. What I liked about Holly Hedge was their just pop-along policy with no prior booking, so one weekend not long after Missy's passing, we headed out there to leave our interest in providing a home for two baby cats.

The only duo young cats they had were Larry and Barbara (then named Sooty and Sweep) so whilst disappointed that it was not kitten season we had no hesitation in visiting the cats looking for a home when asked if we wanted to visit them. Knowing there was a young boy and girl cat looking for a loving home, we made a beeline for Sooty and Sweep, from the moment we went into the pen, they both came straight up to us and were so friendly but playful too, just like kittens. My husband favoured getting older kittens as they're already litter trained and you can get a sense for their little personalities, well it's safe to say we were all smitten immediately and by the time we'd gotten to the car I had run back to reserve them and the husband was happy .

We got them just before lockdown, which was the most perfect timing, they had so much fun tearing around the house, usually the minute we’d gone to bed! Their personalities are so different but so special in their own way, Larry is obsessed with string, particularly on my dresses in the wardrobe, but he sleeps most of the day in my office while I work, I secretly stroke and tickle him whilst on virtual meetings, it's a wonderful stress reliever and when he's awake he constantly head bumps you, I think it's his way of saying I love you and he's noisy too, he loves nothing more than to announce he's awake at 6am by meowing constantly as he walks into our bedroom.

Barbara loves to be outdoors in the day, and pines at the window when it's raining, but always sleeps in her cat bed next to our bed, the expression curiosity killed the cat was made for her, she's so nosy, if you leave any cupboard or bag unattended she's in there! She's fiercely independent but when she wants a cuddle, whilst on her terms, she's a proper lap cat and so loving.

We simply adore these little cats, they've settled into our family perfectly and we couldn't imagine life without them. We've only ever had one cat before and I always worried about them if we went away for the weekend leaving a neighbour to keep an eye on them, now I know they always have each other. We'd always get two cats now, perhaps even three.

Tinka (was Sofia)
Tinka (was Sofia)
In August 2020 we were lucky enough to adopt Tinka (previously known as Sofia). Our family had spent the previous five years living overseas, where we had decided not to adopt a pet (due to long flights). We were super excited to be able to finally welcome a cat to our family.

Tinka has settled into our family and home so well. She is super playful and loves to play with her toys. After a hard day sleeping, her evenings are usually spent running around the house as fast as she can. Our daughters aged 9 and 6 absolutely adore Tinka, and she gets plenty of attention and hugs from us all. She has brought a lot of joy into our lives, and she is very happy in her new home and garden.

When she was rescued as a stray she was very young, and already had six kittens. As a result, she was tiny. However, since coming to live with us she has been eating lots and is now really healthy.

Tinka loves to explore our garden, and particularly enjoys chasing the butterflies and watching the birds. She also likes to sit on the study chair, the stairs, and all the human beds (just not the cat bed!).

We were surprised to hear that black cats often have to wait longer to be adopted. We would urge anyone who is looking to adopt a cat to consider a black cat. We look forward to many happy years with Tinka. We have all decided that she is absolutely purr-fect.

Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers at Holly Hedge for all your hard work in rescuing and caring for so many animals.

I volunteer on cat lockup at Holly Hedge and much to my husband’s distress was assigned to the nursery section. Despite promising my husband that I would not bring any kittens home with me (I’d already adopted a 3rd cat when he didn’t want more than 2!), I couldn’t resist a fluffy grey kitten called Eddie that looked exactly like my childhood pet (he’s the one at the back with his brother Elliot & sister Edna). And so the crazy times began! He is the most handsome cat but the most trouble. He frequently terrorises my other cats, spends hours fishing for frogs in the pond and loves a good game of hide and seek. He’s a crazy dude but I guess that’s why we love him.

Sweep's Story
Sweep's Story
In December 2007, I was ladened down with a van full of goodies I had collected from friends as a Christmas donation to Holly Hedge, toys, blankets, food, etc etc. My other half was nervous, the last time I visited Holly Hedge, I came out with 2 beautiful rescues that needed to be rehomed together, Gizmo my Rottweiler and Kane the boxer.

This was the reason I wanted to give something back to Holly Hedge.
On arriving, even though it was freezing cold, I was met with the usual smiles, but then there was Pauline, (founder of Holly Hedge) looking all solemn and sad, and there was a crate!

As you can see in the crate were these 4 tiny puppies, even though you can only see 3, their mum had sadly decided these guys would be far more interesting as her lunch, so they had to be removed from her.
So, I just couldn’t say no! Oops! I was now a foster mummy for these 4 needy faces, and I now had to return home, faced with the uncertainty of what was going to be the future for these pups! Their precious lives were in my hands!

These 4 needed round the clock 24 hour care, every 2 hours being hand fed, cleaning, stimulation I was now a dog mommy! Honestly, at first they were only taking 5 mil from a bottle, but this 5 mil was like a 4 pint bottle of milk to a baby, it took ages, so by the time you had completed the nurse routine of feed, stimulate for wee wee’s & poops, then clean them then you had to start again! Yep even all through the night!

Remember, this was at Christmas too, so along with all the usual manic festive frolics, I couldn’t forget these wee babies needed our help constantly! My family were fantastic, my daughter Emily who was only 13, and my son Jesse & his girlfriend Kirstie, together we were the A team!

Kane, my boxer, was like the puppies grandfather, he was constantly watching over them, making sure they were all ok , Gizmo wasn’t impressed!
Anyway, time passed, they were all doing fantastic, smothering Weetabix all over the place after waddling through it instead of eating it, hanging from my curtains, biting everything and anything they could get their razor sharp teeth into, including fingers & toes! It was time to move them on!

Even though it was a really emotional time, I had watched these babies grow, nurtured them, kept them alive, all of the puppies were found amazing homes! Wooo hoo!!!

All were homed within my friends & family circle so I was still able to keep in touch and see how they were all doing, and to give advice if needed.

If you are not familiar with Sam’s story, this handsome hunk of love was one of our longest staying residents at Holly Hedge before he was adopted by his amazing family in 2015.

Sam was with us for around five years and although we all loved our office hunk, we were desperately hoping he would soon find his furever home.

When his lovely family came looking to adopt at Christmas 2014 they only had eyes for Sam and the rest they say is history.......

Most people are aware of Sam’s story and how he came to us; he often features on Holly Hedge pages. We have decided to do an updated Sam story so you can see how he is doing in his retirement years.

Sam is now 13.5 years old although he hasn’t quite accepted that yet! He still loves to run round with other dogs, but we have to make sure he doesn’t overdo it. He sleeps a lot of the time, usually on our bed.

Minnie is nearly 6 and they are still inseparable, she most definitely keeps him young. They still chase each other round the house, in the garden and up and down the stairs. Often Sam has no choice in this, Minnie will pester him until he finally gives in and plays.

Sam is in mostly good health, he has had high blood pressure but we are getting on top of it now. Other than the vast greyness, you would never know he is as old as he is. We are so thankful for this.

The other big change in Sam’s life is he has become a big brother again, this time to a two legged baby brother! Stanley was born in September 2020 and Sam is simply the best big brother. Initially he wasn’t that interested in the small screaming thing but as Stanley has got older he’s become much more interesting. Sam spent ages reading parenting books but all he has taken from them is to sleep when the baby sleeps. We’re still waiting for Sam to do the night time feeding as he always seems to leave it to us.

Sam’s childminding skills are a work in progress, he only seems to want the fun side of parenting. Stanley is now weaning and as expected they are best friends. Sam knows exactly when it is mealtimes and is always there, ready and waiting at the highchair. Stanley absolutely adores Sam, he giggles away at him, loves to stroke him and finds him endlessly interesting. He has always been a Mother Hen with puppies and now he has his own baby brother to watch over. More importantly, Stanley thoroughly enjoys throwing food off his highchair ready for Sam. People always say weaning is messy, but in our house food never reaches the floor!

We are looking forward to watching them grow older together, knowing they have the best bond already.

2020 hadn't gotten off to a great start but from March I, like many people, was eyeing up a pooch. Both Matt and I have always had dogs in our lives and working from home, whilst Matt went off to work in manufacturing, I found myself turning to talk to a fluffy friend and finding no one there. It didn't feel right.

I kept an eye on Holly Hedge and came across Buddy. He was an excitable pup, Husky crossed with Staffy, who just hadn't had a fair shot. We applied for him on a whim and I genuinely think fate brought him to us. He was nervous with new people but took to us so quickly. There were a few weeks where he got too excited, jumpy, and bitey but we took a deep breath and understood this wasn't the true Buddy. I'm so glad that our patience and perseverance won out!
Sure enough, within days of bringing him home, the biting and jumping had stopped and he turned into a complete lap dog. He loves a snuggle, loves human bed snuggles, loves a treat, loves his breakfast and dinner, loves playtime, loves going on walkies with his 'pack', loves Spaniels especially, loves when Daddy comes home, loves when I come home (if I ever leave him) and loves chewing or ripping apart any soft toy between his paws.

He's not a fan of the rain or the cold, ironic for a part Husky, and has occasionally taken to petty thievery but he's come on leaps and bounds since that first meet we had with him.

Mummy's favourite thing about Buddy: "When he barks and chases in his sleep"
Daddy's favourite thing: "When he waits for me on his step for love"

We wouldn't have our little Spud any other way and he's such a well-loved member of the family.

Max (was Fred)
Max (was Fred)
We gave Fred a furever home back in July 2017.

We have since renamed him Max and he is the happiest funniest and the best dog you could ask for!
We visited Holly Hedge a few times looking for a family dog and Max (Fred) caught our eyes! He had such a sad look on his face until he saw us! Now he is a cuddle monster, and living his best life!

I’m Mia and I wanted to give tell you what has happened since I left Holly Hedge. I'm still full of energy, but I love to have cuddles as often as possible. I make sure I have cuddles from every human in my family every night so it’s fair.
I have lots of places to sleep but my favourite is on top of the kitchen cabinets.

I also like to bring my family presents; their favourite is slow worms so I try to bring them as many as possible!
Thank you for looking after me before I found my furever home with Neil, Colette, Kacey and Lucas xx

After reading your Instagram post I had to share Lucy’s story!
Lucy has been with us since 2007 from when I was 6 years old (I’m now 19). I recently found her paperwork and honestly didn’t realise it had been that long since we adopted her!
I’ll never forget coming to see the sanctuary for the first time to view some younger kittens but Lucy pushed her way forward and climbed the gate to get our attention. She certainly did as 13 years later she is happily still with her forever family.
Lucy was originally called Avril but I renamed her after somebody I was very fond of at the time. We often call her lulu.
She really enjoys venturing in our garden and has a tendency to squish my plants! My mum and I moved last year and it has taken her a while to adjust to the new setting but she really loves sitting near our homemade pond and laying in the sun.
We welcomed a dog 3 years ago called Bailey (a puppy when we got him) - they have their moments but I think they both enjoy each other’s company. You’ll often find them in the same area not too far away from each other.

Mia (was Mulan)
Mia (was Mulan)
Our story with Holly Hedge started right after we’ve moved to our new house. We always wanted to give a home to a little one in need but we’ve heard that the rehoming process may take many weeks, so we decided to visit Holly Hedge while still living on the boxes in the new house.

We decided to adopt a cat first, and once we had all settled in, we would try to introduce a dog to the family. Little did we know that there would be a dog living with us within 24 hours ..but let’s start at the beginning – on arrival to Holly Hedge we were advised by lovely Elaine that they are desperate to find homes for some puppies. Elaine asked if we would like to see those little pups and obviously, from the minute we saw little Mulan (now Mia), we fell in love with her!

To be honest, Mia picked us, cos she was the first one on our laps and didn’t want us to leave, so there was no question that we gonna leave her behind, and we decided to take her with us, as soon as we could.
Everything happened so quickly after that, and we could not even believe how easy the adoption process was. We had a home visit from Holly Hedge, to assess the conditions for having a puppy, and within 24 hours we were informed that we can take Mia home.

Mia had settled nicely within few days and became a most important member of the family, ruling the house that has still few unpacked boxes, as there was never time to properly unpack since she arrived We cannot imagine our lives without her. Mia is growing very fast and has already outgrown few beds ..and apart from that, she loves long walks, playing with other dogs and she enjoys a juicy bone after the joyful play with her best friend Teddy, the Chow Chow. Mia has a little companion kitten now, whom she loves dearly and treats like a brother.

We are ever so grateful to the people who rescued Mia, as she brought massive joy into our new house and we cannot imagine our life without her.

Lola (was Sky)
Lola (was Sky)
Our Holly Hedge Adoption

When our daughter kept asking for a dog I gave her a test to see how committed she was. She had to eat a whole plate of peas which she normally wouldn't touch. After she ate the lot she said can we go to Holly Hedge now? She knew about the rescue centre because my sister Jodie was a fundraiser there. I said pick a small one but we met a beautiful German Shepherd girl named Sky who was 18 months old and had already had 2 homes. That was it, we collected her in 2006 and changed her name to Lola. She was extremely clever and we never had to teach her a thing. We never understood why the previous owners gave her up. Very sadly she passed away this week at nearly 16. We will miss her terribly.

Huey (was Houston)
Huey (was Houston)
This is the story of our Border Collie we adopted from Holly Hedge in October 2007. We heard of him because one of the fundraisers had told us about this 8 month old frightened little lad called Houston who had recently arrived at the sanctuary.
On seeing him there it was obvious he was very scared but not nasty, so I asked to go in the run with him.
He came to me straight away and cuddled in and that's when I knew he was coming home with us.
I started training him and began agility training which helped give him the confidence he needed, he proved to be brilliant at agility and won several contests and many rosettes.
He's now called Huey and still enjoying life at 13 years of age, but just a bit slower. The only thing he's frightened of now is the moon !!! (but's that's another story)

Harley came to Holly Hedge on a cold day in February in a very sorry state. She was taken straight to the vet as it was obvious there was something very wrong with her. She couldn't walk properly, and was shuffling around in circles and seemed to be in a lot of pain. We knew this poor dog had been kept outside in a kennel for at least 2 years because she was incontinent. Once a loved house pet, at the age of 11 years old and very arthritic she was an inconvenience, so banished to the garden! We were told that Harley hadn't seen a vet since she was a puppy, and she had never been given any pain relief for her arthritis.

The vet kept her in overnight for observation with a view to doing X-rays the following day. It was apparent that Harley was suffering deep rooted pain and was also very sore and ulcerated with urine scald where she had been lying in her own urine. She couldn’t walk, only shuffle along on her 2 front legs. The X-rays showed there may have been some trauma to the spine and her hips were very stiff with arthritis, she also had muscle wastage in her back end. The prognosis wasn’t good.....

See her full story here

Hannah and Sam are so happy we have Chester in our lives. He has finally settled in to our home, and now loves playing catch the mouse, with his catnip toys and catching bubbles! He loves eating and has lots of food based games and he yeowls like mad for them. He still loves a good chat and belly kisses daily, and falling to sleep on our laps. His favourite time of day is breakfast and then lying in the sunshine, he then has his mad half an hour where he chases his shadow then comes for snuggles. His fur is growing back and he almost has a full coat. He is the most loving, friendly, snuggly cat and not a day goes by without us being thankful he is part of our family.

Thanks again for letting him be a part of our family and for looking after him so well!

Bryn (Was Bronson)
Bryn (Was Bronson)
Hello Holly Hedge

I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that I am doing SO well – I love it in the country – it is so peaceful and calm here and I rest and sleep quiet a lot – I also have my own garden and box of toys.

I’ve attached some pictures of me enjoying all sorts of stuff – I’ve got my own Boomer Ball and go on lots of peaceful and interesting walks – we sat in a quiet garden pub and I was very well behaved.

I’ve only been here just over 24 hours and I have settled right in – I think I will be very happy here in my furever home – I feel very loved by my family – and I am an extremely good boy.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I love everyone.

B x

It's almost a year since we adopted Huxley (formerly Jacaboo) and we wanted to share a few photos from his first year with us.

Hux wasn't the dog we went to Holly Hedge to see. We'd already filled out an adoption form with all of our details, and he was recommended to us when we arrived. He stole our hearts straight away and we visited several times over the next week whilst the adoption process and home checks went through. The intention was for him to accompany me to work, so my workplace was also checked out to make sure it was suitable.

Hux's first few days and nights were a little unsettled. He was a very loving dog from the start, but we soon realised that he had been used to sleeping in his previous owners bed, and he was very fond of being carried around. It took us a week or two to get him used to sleeping in his own bed but we had to compromise by having him upstairs on the landing - he just didn't like being downstairs by himself. We also discovered that he was completely overwhelmed by the noise of traffic. This took us a few months to conquer and received many jokey comments from passers by when we were 'walking' him, as he often refused to budge so we had to carry him for a while and then try again. However, with a lot of determination, patience, persistence and encouragement, Hux conquered his fears and we never need to carry him now. He's even mastered bridges and lock-gates! We recently took him into Bristol city centre for the first time, expecting him to be overwhelmed by all the people and traffic noise, but he loved it!

Hux's favourite things are food (cubes of cheese whilst working on recall are a favourite), sitting on people's laps, going to the vets & stealing people's socks - sometimes off their feet if he can. He tried the latter when we took him on holiday for the first time last year. We were on a quiet beach in Cornwall and Hux spotted a walker removing his walking boots and long socks further along the beach. Well that was it, he was off like a shot and no amount of calling him and shouting 'cheese' at him could distract him from the joy of trying to remove a stranger's sock. Thankfully, he did come back and we beat a hasty retreat.

Hux has been an absolute joy and we can't imagine life without him. Because of him we are all that little bit fitter, both physically and mentally. We've discovered places around where we live that we wouldn't have explored without walking him. We've had conversations with so many strangers who will easily chat to you when you have a dog by your side. He's made us laugh with his antics and has been a great cuddler when needed. We're so grateful that he was recommended to us that day we visited Holly Hedge.

March 2016 - the first time Carl and I met Alani the clumsy, pointy-eared, fox-tailed staffyX who would eventually join our family in August. Whenever we visited the sanctuary (most weekends), Carl would make a beeline for Alani’s kennel where she would press herself against the door, wag her tail furiously, and smile her big staffy smile. We waited, every week sure we were going to see the reserved sign on her door, sure that the right family would meet and fall in love with her like we had. Little did we know that she’d already met the right family.
The first few days were both wonderful and extremely difficult and we felt overwhelmed and panicked when her first walk turned into a series of barks, growls and lunges at everything. I rang Holly Hedge in tears, terrified that we had taken on too much. Holly Hedge arranged for Rosie, animal behaviourist, to come and see Alani. She explained simple, effective methods we could use to keep her calmer. Following Rosie’s advice and learning to adapt to Alani’s needs has been tough at times. However, watching her begin to relax and gaining confidence has been the most amazing journey for all of us.
We’ve now had Alani 10 months, she doesn’t behave perfectly but is learning to play and socialise with other dogs. She’s been to the beach, climbed hills in Wales, and spent many days stretched out contentedly in front of the fire. She has so much love to give and believes herself to be the perfect lapdog.
Two months ago we couldn’t get a sitter and she came with us to visit my friend who has a beautiful daughter with autism. I was worried about this meeting, almost cancelling it because of Alani’s sheer size, strength and clumsiness. But Alani was patient and gentle, placing her paw softly on the seven year old’s hand and sitting by her side even though her head was being patted a little too hard .
Alani is challenging, BUT more importantly, Alani is affectionate, loving, hilarious, intelligent and beautiful. She had a bad start to life and then spent a long time in kennels, as many staffies/staffy crosses sadly do. We intend to give her the most amazing forever home. We want to encourage everyone considering getting a dog to visit a rescue, not a breeder, and to consider a staffy. Just look at this irresistible smile…

We never meant to adopt her, but some things are just meant to be! This is Daisy. When we met, her name was Blaze and she was having a terrible time, having found herself at Holly Hedge. She’s a 9-year old Staffy who suffers with separation anxiety and she was really not coping well with being in kennels. She cried constantly. We didn’t go there to meet her. But when we met her, she was a whirling dervish of energy and noises, snarfs and squeaks galore and she had the waggiest of tails! My husband had the hugest “I LOVE HER” grin I have ever seen. She was ours from that very moment!

We were not 100% sure our 3 cats would appreciate this black tazmanian-devil-whirlwind-of-a-dog, so we agreed we would foster her initially, just to make sure everything worked out. Thankfully, after a month or so, everything settled down. As you can see… someone has made herself very comfortable! She's such a dappy dog, so gentle with the cats now and a lot less needy than she was! And a lot less farty too, thankfully!! Although we can definitely tell when she’s nervous!! ? She still bombs about like a loon, but is mostly chilled out and calm or demanding belly rubs. OMG, she LOVES belly rubs... There are never enough! She's such a vocal girl, making gremlin noises, snarfing about, snorting and snoring and we only really worry when she's quiet (as that seems to mean she's sneakily eating cat poo.... What a grim beast! ?). She still hates it if we go out though, but she’s so good whilst we are out, and she gets so excited when we come home she steals our shoes!!!! She's definitely a perfect fit for our weird little family!

Katniss came to live with us in November of 2015, after I had built a bond with her during my cat cuddling shifts. My heart went out to her, she had been overlooked for so long and just needed someone with understanding to take her on.
I went off to Australia and Holly Hedge kindly agreed for my partner, Dave, to foster Katniss with us adopting her soon after. It did not take long for her to settle in.
She spent a couple of days hiding, only emerging from behind the sofa to eat or go to the toilet, but after 4 days she ended up on Dave’s lap looking for fuss.
Katniss always had a habit of lashing out with her razor sharp claws when she heard something she didn’t like or if you moved too quickly. It has been a long haul to get her to the stage of letting us pick her up and fuss her without risk of her scratching and now she can be an absolute Angel!
We have moved to a house in a quiet village. She has a cat flap and comes and goes through the day but mostly just sits on the fence catching the sun whenever possible. When she is not outside she is keeping the end of our bed warm.
Katniss loves to play, particularly after her dinner where she thunders backwards and forwards at the top of our stairs chasing her favourite green ball or kicking her Kong Kickaroo!
We are so pleased to have Katniss. She has settled into home life with us and proves even the difficult ones deserve a chance. We wouldn’t swap her for the world!

In memory of Jackson who passed away on 9th November 2016 who was very much loved and whose wonderful owners felt very lucky to have had him.
R.I.P. beautiful boy.
This is the story Jackson wrote for us with the help of 12 year old Minnie:
Hi my name is Jackson. I am a 14 year old Labrador and this is my story.
I was found wandering in Basingstoke 3 days before Christmas 2014 I don't know why I was lost in the world with no one to love me but that I was. Basingstoke dog pound found me and took me in. I went to see the vet there. I was so old and thin that they said there was no hope for me...
Holly Hedge heard about me and gave me a second chance. They were so kind to me because they sent me straight to a foster home where I was loved back to health. It was very confusing for me because the foster home I went to had two dogs there both called Millie.
6 days before Easter Sunday I was adopted out to a kind and loving, forever family. They always give me what ever I need. I love going camping with my family because they always go every where with me.
I am so grateful for every thing Holly Hedge has done for me and the foster family for helping me to get back to health. My family would have not have had me with out them. Even though I am old I still love walks and playing with my rope toy. Thank you again Holly Hedge.

We love Fozzie and he has such a great character. In the morning he follows me everywhere, even to the toilet! until I feed him (even playfully batting my ankles, if I'm taking too long taking the food out the cupboard). He'll then have a little play with his toys with my daughter before spending most of his day sleeping in our wardrobe. In the evening he comes and sits with us in the lounge. On top of the sofa is his favourite place but will often move to my lap for a cuddle and a brush.
Thank you for helping us adopt such a fab cat and one who has fitted in with us brilliantly.

Bryn and Mars
Bryn and Mars
Our family cat died of an illness last June and our home wasn’t quite the same without her around. We decided we would visit Holly hedge at the end of the summer, so as soon as we were able we made our first visit. We were looking for two kittens and there were so many kittens available at the time, but two really stood out because they were so different and already you could see their different personalities. Mars was right next to the gate looking out at everyone and had the cutest little ears and a short stumpy tail and was just adorable, he was the last one of a litter of three kittens and had been put with another female kitten called Bryn. Bryn was a stray and was very shy, but with Mars being so confident they had been put together. We decided that day that we would have them, so after passing all the checks we were back a week later to collect them. As soon as we were home, Mars was straight out and wandering around and within a couple of hours he had been all over the house. Bryn on the other hand wouldn’t even come out of the cat basket and for the first few days would only come out when there wasn’t anyone around or only for food. By the end of the first week she was letting us stroke her and within two was completely a different kitten, she was so affectionate and wanted lots of attention especially when Mars was around, little bit of kitten rivalry going on there!!
They have settled so well and love playing with each other and anyone else who is around. Mars we have nicknamed mischievous Mars as he is always up to mischief and Bryn, well she just loves her cuddles and is always sneaking off to someone’s bedroom for a long nap. As you can see below, Bryn and Mars snuggled up together and very much enjoying their home comforts. We love them to bits and our home wouldn’t be the same without them.
From The Gurneys, Bryn and Mars xx