A Staffordshire dogs home is running near capacity after a sharp rise in the number of strays and unwanted pets taken in over the festive period.
The Sunnyside Centre, a state-of-the-art kennels in Coven, near Wolverhampton, has more than 45 dogs in need of rehoming.
The canine residents are among more than 150 taken in across the £2million site and another centre run by Birmingham Dogs Home in Solihull.
The overall figure is an increase on the same time last year, when 115 unwanted creatures were taken in across the two sites.
Some are rescued strays while others have been responsibly handed over by owners who cannot look after their former four-legged friends any more.
At Sunnyside, one of the inhabitants is 10-year-old Boomer, a blind Staffordshire bull terrier. With his age, breed and lack of sight, the gentle creature might seem to have little chance of finding a new home.
But Birmingham Dogs Home are confident the black-and-white Staffy will be a faithful companion to the right owner.
Digital Marketing Officer Rachel Frost said: “Boomer is a gentle boy who is very cuddly and still likes his walks. He will need to get to know a new house and garden and probably wouldn’t like to be around younger children.
“He needs a calm home, which is understandable given his age and condition.”
Rachel is confident Boomer can be rehomed, despite the reputation of Staffordshire bull terriers, which are in fact loyal family pets that have historic and symbolic links to the region.
Boomer was a stray and taken in by the dogs home and so staff know nothing about his life before.
According to the Kennel Club, the breed gained its name because it was developed as a fighting dog in the Black Country area of Staffordshire and northern parts of Birmingham.
The club says on its website: “Despite its early function, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known as a wonderful family pet.”
Rachel also dispelled any concerns about Boomer’s suitability for a loving home.
“Staffordshire bull terriers are fantastic family pets,” she said.
“They make great companions for families with or without children.
“It’s all about how they are brought up and adapt to the situation, but they are known for becoming part of the family.”
Boomer’s advert in a video released by the charity reads: “Please don’t walk past Boomer – a charming gentleman with so much to give.”