Holly Hedge

Providing shelter from harm and the promise of a brighter future

Success Stories

Rags to Riches

Woof, woof – my name is Benji, I am an 18 month Boxer dog and I would like to tell you why I feel I am the luckiest dog in the world!

I hadn’t eaten a proper meal for months, I had lost a lot of weight, I was lost, lonely and very hungry indeed, my feet were very sore and I was exhausted as I had been living as a tramp for a long time.

One day I saw some dustbins in a garden and thought there might be some scraps of food about so I crept quietly in to check them out. A human appeared, and although I was feeling very scared as other humans had shouted and sometimes hit me, I didn’t move. This one had some biscuits which I was very pleased to accept as I was so very, very hungry. A lady then appeared, and normally I would run away but I was so tired, I just did not have the energy to walk or run and hide. This lady took me by car to her home, where I was gently placed into a very comfortable dog bed. After eating some chicken and having a drink, I cuddled up in the duvets and had a wonderful night’s sleep – feeling warm and relaxed for the first time in ages.

I don’t understand the system, but through a place called ‘Holly Hedge’ where I spent the next few weeks, I saw a human called ‘Vet’ who said I was half the weight I should be. He gave me medical treatment and I was fed six small meals a day by very kind gentle people. Day by day I began to feel much better – I even wagged my tail and felt much more confident to greet strangers. One day I heard two “strangers” ask the humans if I would like to live with them and their two dogs as they had fallen in love with me. I moved in with them and just couldn’t believe my luck. The house was enormous; the two dogs welcomed me enthusiastically and showed me around the one acre walled garden, complete with electric gates to enter the property. We had our own room with sumptuous dog beds and lots of toys, but one of my favourite spots is in front of the Aga in the kitchen! Another Boxer, perhaps a cousin, often visits us and we all go for long walks every day in the woods and fields behind our home.

I just cannot believe my luck and have now put the past behind me – I really love my adopted humans and feel safe and very happy. I still have the cigarette burn scars on my body but ‘Vet’ says that thanks to Holly Hedge and my new human family I am the perfect weight and in wonderful condition.

I do hope that other dogs in my former situation can be as lucky as I am. Woof! Woof! Love Benji xx



Having lost our wonderful German Shepherd Sheba in January, we decided to give another rescue dog from Holly Hedge a home. We knew of Fudge from the Holly Hedge website and after a week of getting to know him we knew he was the one for us, so home he came – into our hearts and onto our couch! Fudge has had a difficult life and was a very nervous dog. However, now he has a loving home of his own, his confidence is returning and he’s revealing his true self.

Fudge loves nothing more than snoozing, cuddling up to us and his collection of rope toys! We’re working with him to help him enjoy the outside world, and we’re glad this funny and affectionate boy is now ours.


Snugs & Murphy

Poor Murphy found cattery life extremely stressful and spent almost all of his time hiding away in his wooden house. Since coming home he soon emerged from the Sanctuary of ‘under my bed’ and has become a truly affectionate cat. He’s still very fearful of strangers, but is gradually learning to trust people. He and his brother snugs, who rarely left his side at Holly Hedge, are the most perfect, life enriching duo, and I’d never be without them.

Please consider taking a chance on the shy, seemingly ‘less friendly’ animals who don’t always show their better side in the rescue cattery. They are just waiting to surprise and delight you with their true colours.


Mikey Mega Star!

We thought you'd like an update on how Mikey's getting on over in Nottingham at the end of week two in his new home.

After an easy drive back (after his initial reluctance to get in the car!) which he spent most of asleep apart from the odd sit up now and again for a look round, he's settled in really well. He's enjoying his new walks, which seem to consist of sniffing every blade of grass and unlike our previous dogs, hasn't tried to eat or roll in anything that he shouldn't. He's already starting to get more energetic so we bought an extender lead so he can have a bit of a run but you can tell he's dying to have a proper tear round.

Everyone he meets is charmed by him. I nipped into a shop whilst Kirsty waited outside last weekend and I came out to find her surrounded by fans of Mikey! He's soft as anything and absolutely loves the attention. He's a perfect gentleman, dogs we've met on walks have all been greeted with a gentle wag of the tail and a sniff before playing like a puppy - apart from boxers which he seems to take exception to - so we give them a bit of space at the moment. He's got a new mate over on the park - a chocolate Labrador - and they have a whale of time rolling about play fighting every time we bump into him. He's also met the dog-confident cats that live on the street and Mikey's quite happy to see them and they love him! We'll see if we can get some pictures.

It's not taken him long to realise that he'd rather have what we're eating than what's in his dish! Feeding time is always met enthusiastically, with an initial frenzy of wolfing down some of his dinner, then a pause to see if there might be anything better on offer, before returning to his dish to finish up what's left. We now know he doesn't like Fish flavour Naturediet...this was made very clear to us!! Also Fish4dogs Sea Jerky - which every dog we've known has gone mad for - was met with a look of 'what on earth is this?'...he's definitely a meat dog...preferably freshly roasted chicken!

We're still getting used to his quirks but he's settled in really well and has realised that he's staying here for good. The odd noise or movement still make him flinch and we can only wonder what he's been through in the past, which is even worse considering what a lovely character he is. We can see the real Mikey coming out now and he is a cheeky monkey at times....and stealthy with it...I turned my back for a couple of minutes yesterday and went outside to find him happily sat shredding a newspaper next to his food dish...neither of which I saw him take out of the house. We suspect we may see more of this side of him as he gets more confident over the next few months.

Thanks again for all your help and letting us give Mikey a home. He's definitely the right dog for us and hopefully he realises that he's landed on his feet. We'll keep in touch with updates on how he's doing.


Toyah the Miracle Dog

It was 2010, when we saw the Holly Hedge stand in Asda, we asked if we could do dog walking and were told we could. We made a visit to Holly Hedge, signed up to do the dog walking, including Christmas Day. After the initial paperwork, we went to see the kennels, and Toyah was just there waiting for us, we both fell in love with her. Before we knew it we adopted her.

In June 2011 Toyah started to show signs of a limp, we took her to the vets and we were told she had bone cancer in her front right leg, and was given 4 weeks to live. This broke our hearts and all our holidays with her were cancelled.

It’s now 2 years on and she is still here, a miracle. Last year she had her spleen removed and a few cancer lumps in her stomach. In March this year she starting limping on her left leg, we both thought it was the cancer back. We took her to the vets she was given a CT scan and we were told she had arthritis.

Toyah is loved by everyone that meets her, she loves to dance and sing when she is tickled, and she has been wonderful in every way possible. Toyah was nominated Pet of the Month, Runner up for Pet of the Year and twice nominated as Pooch of the Month!

She was 4 years old when we adopted her and we believe she had a bad beginning. She appears better than ever and we will continue to love her and spoil her as long as we can. It’s so hard to believe what she has gone through, if it was not for the X-rays and the CT scan we would not believe it. Since the last visit, the scan showed she had broken her right leg where the tumour is and it has healed with her own tissues, what a miracle, she is just amazing.

We cannot thank Holly Hedge enough for taking her in and we also thank Sasha the wonderful girl that found her, Sasha and all her family have become great friends.



Hello Holly Hedge, I spoke with you on the phone this morning and informed you of Tara’s first day with us and thought I would attach a couple of photos for you to see her settling in. She is really coming out of her shell, surprisingly confident at exploring her new surroundings, purring lots and following us around. She loves to sit and look out of the window in the living room and is very active (a contrast to seeing her so low previously). When you pat your leg she will run across the room and jump on the sofa for some fuss.

She’s getting on with everyone, and we made her a comfy house with blankets and cushions which she absolutely loves. She also loves to be brushed, and is very responsive when we speak to her (which we are doing all the time). Quite the princess! Enjoy the photographs and thanks for all the help!