We’ve teamed up with The National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire to see if you could help Sunny, the dog who can’t be touched…
Her tail wags with excitement but there is a fear that lurks behind her eyes. Her want for love and affection, outweighed by the overpowering sense of anxiety and terror that clouds the sunshine within.
Sunny, a small Jack Russell cross born and raised in the Berkshire area, came to National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire, better known as Trindledown Farm, due to behavioural issues, derived from her fear of being touched.
At first, the staff suspected her fear came as a response to pain, an affectionate pat being a lethal touch. The team ran numerous investigations with the help of their veterinary practice. Scans and blood work all coming back to say how healthy the little dog is.
But as staff made attempts to touch her, it was clear Sunny did not like this. Attempts to put a harness on, or check her paws were futile, as each time Sunny gave warning to the team. Instead of growling, Sunny goes stock-still, her body tensing as she prepares to fight in defence of herself.
I am incredibly proud of all the hard work my staff have put in, to help reassure Sunny, that there are brighter days ahead
Feeling there was more to Sunny’s story, than her history of not being walked, Centre Supervisor, Taryn Beaumont, enlisted the help of a local dog trainer who volunteered regularly for the centre. “It was clear to us, from staff interactions, that Sunny was completely terrified of being touched. Although my team had worked up to being able to get a harness on Sunny, she still wasn’t keen to let the team near her. After an initial assessment, our wonderful dog trainer concluded that it is likely Sunny has PTSD, and, it is suspected her terror at being touched comes from the worst reason of all; that she may have been beaten in her past.
It breaks our hearts as a team to think that she could have such a tragic back story. But, at the same time, I am incredibly proud of all the hard work my staff have put in, to help reassure Sunny, that there are brighter days ahead.”
According to Trindledown Farm, Sunny has managed to progress to allowing staff to touch her occasionally, but they have found her greatest joy, is just having the company in her room.
Dogs are just so compassionate and loving, even after everything they may have gone through. We hope we can find her an amazing home!
“Though she is frightened of being touched, the second anyone walks into the room, she breaks out into the most excited wiggle, which will just make your heart burst of happiness. Just having your company is everything to her,” continues Taryn. “She loves when staff go in and sit on the sofa and watch her as she plays with her toys. She’s even jumped onto some of the team members laps, just to show off her fancy rope toy and how she plays with it! She has an incredibly long journey ahead of her, but we know there is a perfect home out there for her!
You may not be able to give her all the pets she deserves, but just by earning her trust, you mean the world to her, and your company gives her all the love and attention she could ever want. She’s such a special, lovely girl and we adore her so much. Dogs are just so compassionate and loving, even after everything they may have gone through. We hope we can find her an amazing home!”
Sunny has been at the centre for over two months now and has been through multiple vet checks to ensure her health. If you would like to contribute to the centre and the cost of their animal care, you can donate directly to the centre via post, phone or their website. Alternatively, you can visit them during their opening hours Tuesday – Sunday, between 10am to 4pm and see all the wonderful work and effort that goes into everything they do.
Find out more
The staff are appealing to help find Sunny the perfect home she deserves. If you know of anyone that may be interested in a loving, little companion, they can find out more about her here.