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New home for Buster: Manchester Dogs’ Homes millionth resident

It was never imagined that 113 years later
they would welcome their millionth dog in to the Home

A BLIND Labrador called Buster has become the millionth dog to be welcomed into Manchester Dogs’ Home.

Buster - who was named by staff - was found wandering in Middleton and brought in to the Home’s care via the Rochdale Dog Wardens. Upon his arrival he was health checked vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms; his health check revealed that in addition to being a very happy and bouncy Labrador he was also completely blind. Buster was left to stray and then fend for himself on the busy high streets of Middleton even though he was unable to see and recognise things that may cause him harm.

Lisa Graham, Manager of the Home said: "While we have seen all sorts of dogs we had never seen one as special as this one. In addition to marking a great achievement for Manchester & Cheshire Dogs’ Homes this dog also marks the main reason we are still here. On Buster’s admission to the Home a microchip was found when he was scanned, automatically the main database was contacted and his owner’s phone number and address given to our staff.

Unfortunately the phone was no longer in use and when we sent a card out to the address to notify the owners that their dog was in our care; the card was returned saying that those people were no longer at that address. Buster was truly on his own now, there was very little chance of his owners coming forward and it was now up to us to try and find him a home."

The veterinary diagnosis for Buster’s eyes was full layer cataracts; these were probably secondary to the disease Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), an inherited disease that affects Labradors and other breeds. There is no pain or discomfort associated with the disease, just blindness. There is also no treatment currently available, once the disease sets in all the owners and the dog can do it wait to see how far it will progress and what the final out come is in relation to the dogs ability to see. Cataracts will often form in addition to the PRA and give the eyes an opaque milky blue colour to them.

The end of January 2006 saw another great achievement for Manchester & Cheshire Dogs' Homes, Buster was adopted.

Lisa adds: "We receive regular reports on how Buster is doing and have so far been told that he has settled in well with his new family and he is absolutely loving life."

The home first opened it doors in 1893 to the stray and abandoned dogs of the North West.