Nine abandoned staffy pups taken in by Heswall animal rescue

A Heswall-based animal rescue is appealing for donations after taking in nine abandoned Staffordshire bull terrier puppies.

The dogs were handed in to Celandine Wood Animal Rescue at the weekend and appear to be around just five weeks old.

The five girls and four boys have been named Brie, Stilton, Babybel, Leicester, Camembert, Wensleydale, Cheddar, Halloumi and Feta. The pooches are now with foster carers and are looking for their forever homes. Little is known about the background of the pups. 

Vet Sharon Williams, who founded Celandine, said the number of animals abandoned is still spiralling. “They were dumped at another local rescue who didn’t have space for them and we said we would step in and have them,” she said. “Our funds are running low but we couldn’t say no to these babies.”

Eight weeks is the minimum age that puppies should be when they leave their mother, she explained. Otherwise, they can develop behavioural problems.

“The pups are small and scrawny and look like they’ve been taken away from their mum too early,” she said. “Pups who experience separation too early can develop behavioural problems as adults, such as anxiety, attachment issues and reactivity to other dogs. However, when young pups are hand reared by a human, they can be well-balanced as long as they are nurturing.”

Ms Williams, who is a branch partner at Medivet in Heswall, urged people to donate towards the dogs’ care.

“Time are tough and rescues are really feeling the pinch,” she said. “Our running costs are high – one dog can cost us thousands of pounds in veterinary care and wipe out our savings.
“I know money is tight for a lot of people right now, but anything you can afford to donate would be much appreciated.”

For years, Ms Williams has been taking home the animals that owners brought in for euthanisation for no good reason. Celandine began last year to cope with the increased demand for rescue spaces. It now has kennels that can house up to 40 dogs and a network of foster carers.

Animal abandonments in the UK are at a three-year high and Merseyside is particularly struggling, according to Ms Williams.

“Rescues up and down the country are overwhelmed by the amount of abandoned animals,” she said. “We get around ten calls a day about animals in desperate situations that we have to turn away.

“We are still seeing the impact of the pandemic, when people bought over three million dogs, and went back the office and found they didn’t have time for their pet or their dog was displaying anti-social behaviour. And now on top of that we’ve got the cost-of-living crisis.

“There are simply more animals in need of rescuing than there are rescue spaces. Celandine is run entirely by volunteers and it breaks all of our hearts to say no to these animals, knowing they may well fall through the cracks. There’s an estimated 20,000 dogs being put to sleep in the UK each year.

“We want to be able to say yes to more animals.”

Anyone who wants to donate to Celandine can do so here

For more information about the rescue and to see the animals available for adoption, visit

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