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Ben spends six Christmases in rescue kennels

A CROSSBREED named Ben who spent his sixth Christmas in rescue kennels last year is still seeking an ideal home. Although the 10-year-old Labrador/Rottweiler cross is described as a "wonderful dog with a lovely personality" his "rough" nature, particularly with other pets, has led to him spending more than half his life without an owner.

Ben has been a resident at Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre in Shropshire since 1997. Ben came to the centre, based in Shrewsbury when he was four. His then owners left the pub they ran in nearby Market Drayton, and moved into a flat where animals were not allowed.

The centre’s owner, Jenny Martinez said: "Ben is brilliant with people and he is a very happy dog who is very relaxed and loves to play all day. But every time people leave without him, you can't help feeling that he must know he's not wanted.

"We make sure he gets plenty of fuss and love but it's not the same. It is very sad to see him left behind again, especially at Christmas.

"He has got a settee in his kennel and a host of toys. He loves going out for long runs, although he does get quite tired now as he is getting on a bit. There have been people who have been to see Ben but when they hear that he can be a bit of a handful they just don't want to know.

"The problem is that although he’s brilliant with people he can’t get on with other pets, especially dogs. When he’s walked, he has to wear a muzzle and he needs to be controlled very firmly on the lead. He’s a very contradictory dog in many ways, because he really does love people, adults and children alike, but he needs to be an only dog.

"It's very sad because he could make someone a lovely pet if he could find the right family. I think his ideal family would be one with older children, such as teenagers, as he could be a bit boisterous with little children, although he isn’t aggressive in that way. Or he’d be well suited for a couple whose children have left home, or maybe they aren’t ever going to have children. Ideally, they should be experienced dog owners and able to be firm yet kind.

"He's been here so long now he is like one of the family and we will be sorry to see him go but I think he would really love to have a home of his own."

l If you think you could offer Ben a home, please contact Jenny Martinez at: Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre, Undercliffe, Grinshill, Shrewsbury, SY4 3LQ 01939-220211 Website: