A BRITISH bulldog who underwent leg surgery thanks to the public’s generosity is to have his pick of the perfect new home.
Fifteen-month-old Winston needed the operation for a painful knee condition, which was met with funding from residents.
But due to the funds raised for his treatment and as a result, his high profile and ongoing popularity, now the rescue centre where he is looked after is holding an ‘audition’ style process to find him his new owners.
The Stubbington Ark in Fareham is asking interested people and those who live outside the Fareham area to apply between now and July 21.
Vanessa Eden, fundraising manager, said: “We know from ongoing enquiries that Winston will be a very popular dog to adopt, so that is why we have chosen a slightly unconventional way for applicants to ensure Winston is matched with an ideal owner.
“Normally it’s first-come first served but this is different because he is special.”
Those applying will go down to the Ark to see Winston and to discuss his medication and can then express their interest.
Then a vet and the centre’s staff will go through these and pick out the best suited home.
However, they will also need to come in and pass the final test – meeting Winston’s approval.
Winston was brought into the Ark, in Ranvilles Lane, by his owner last November as they worked long hours and did not feel it was fair on the dog.
He was diagnosed with Cherry Eye, which is a prolapse of the tear glands, but also had skin problems and an ear infection.
He had recovered when staff, preparing to rehome him, noticed he had a limp. He was diagnosed with cruciate knee, an orthopaedic condition common in bulldogs.
If left untreated, Winston would have been in excruciating pain and would eventually be left unable to walk and have to be put down.
An operation to solve the problem costs more than £3,000, which left staff concerned for Winston, especially when they discovered that he had the condition in both legs.
A vet at Downland Vets, based in Emsworth, had offered to do the surgery on one knee at a greatly reduced cost, and when his other leg was diagnosed, agreed to do both for £1,000.
He underwent the procedure in April, but the Ark had appealed for help to cover his treatment as they did not have the funds to do so.
Within two weeks the public had answered their call.
The rescue centre says Winston’s new owners must have breed experience and he must be the only dog in the household.
To register an interest visit the shelter during opening hours.
To find out more call 01329 667541.