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One-year-old stray Bella was found and rescued by a concerned member of the public. The Cocker Spaniel was in a really bad way with a horrific amount of hair missing and very raw, sore-looking skin.

“Bella was a timid, affectionate soul. Everyone was smitten with her at Woodgreen.”

Shannon, Dog carer

Arriving at Woodgreen

Despite loving Bella’s sweet nature, her rescuer, Rebecca, realised she couldn’t afford the expensive, ongoing skin treatment Bella would need. Our team at Woodgreen had a chat with her about the best way forward, and Rebecca made the difficult decision to hand Bella into our care, “I want the best for her as she’s a lovely dog. I just wish I could afford the treatment she needs.”

Whilst most Spaniels are known for their outgoing nature, Bella was very subdued after going through so much trauma and upheaval in her short life. This wasn’t surprising for a stray; we had no idea what she’d been through and knew even less about her early months as a puppy.

Getting the care she needed

First of all our experienced vets looked at Bella’s concerning skin issues. The cause of this terrible skin issue wasn’t clear but they didn’t rule anything out and started her treatment straight away. She was also underweight, so our team swiftly put her on a nutritious meal plan to help her gain some pounds.

Although Bella was still very withdrawn we noticed that she really loved the company of other dogs. We deliberately set up some walks with other dogs and slowly you could see her starting to relax and feel like she was in a safe space. The valuable time she spent with dogs, along with lots of reassurance and praise from our team, helped build her confidence and very slowly her tail started to wag.

When dog carer Abbie – who has four lovely dogs at home – offered to foster Bella, our team didn’t have to think twice. It was clear that a stay with an experienced dog owner and four other canine companions would help her confidence blossom even more, while also getting her used to living in a busy home.

Much to our delight, Bella adored her new four-legged friends and quickly became a much-loved member of the gang! They brought her out of her shell, and Abbie started to see more of Bella’s playful side. She didn’t know what to do with the toys we gave her when she first arrived, but that quickly changed. Seeing how much joy they brought her new friends, she realised they were actually tons of fun!

Looking for a home on The Dog House

Once Bella had made progress with her house training and recovered from her traumatic time on the streets, we started the search for a wonderful new home where she could continue to flourish. We were looking for a human who could be her best pal and be willing to keep building up her confidence with reward-based training.

When she came back to Woodgreen to meet a potential new family, dog carer Shannon was amazed at the change she saw in her. “Her personality seemed to have returned, along with her fur. She was like a typical Spaniel – lovely and bonkers!”

Whilst Bella has been recovering at her foster home, our Rehoming team were busy searching for a wonderful new forever home for her. When they met Roz, John and their dog, Marnie, a blind Cockapoo looking for a companion, they thought of Bella straight away. A meeting was set up in our famous Meeting Pen and everyone’s fingers were crossed that our gorgeous girl would be a great match. Bella’s big moment came during filming of The Dog House, but the introduction didn’t get off to a flying start.

Bella seemed keen to meet her potential pal, while Marnie appeared to be quite nervous – barking at Bella, which she handled well by giving her some space. Eventually, Marnie began to settle more in Bella’s company, and after giving it some thought, Roz and John decided to take the plunge and rehome Bella!

Help us be here for strays like Bella

We couldn't give dogs like Bella the vital care, support and safety they need without the support of people like you. Will you give pets at Woodgreen a miracle?


£30 could go towards a winter coat for dogs in our care.


£5 a month could pay for a new dog toy for an abandoned pet to play with and have fun.

Last year


Pets and people helped


Pet owners helped through our outreach work


Pets brought into our care at Woodgreen

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