A Christmas miracle! Helen finds her forever home
Helen the XL bully from Wales captivated the internet with appeals to save her from a life in kennels – and now as the deadline looms she’s found her forever home this Christmas.
The news was shared on a touching post shared to Cardiff Dogs Home, The Rescue Centre’s Facebook page today (Christmas Eve).
Writing on behalf of Helen, the team wrote: “Dreams really do come true, this morning I went to my forever home and I can’t quite believe it. I heard that my time was running out but my guardian angels came to save me just in time.”
“I want to say a big thank you to those that kept rooting for me and sending me well wishes and good luck vibes. I know I have so many people out there that love me.”
Messages have piled up beneath the post, with many following her journey in tears of joy at the news.
One commenter wrote: “I’m standing in my kitchen sobbing with happiness for you baby Helen. You captured sooo many people’s hearts.
“To the gentleman in the picture .. you sir are Helen’s Hero thank you soooo much.”
Another person asked for someone to “give this man the keys to the city!”
Helen’s story has captured the nation’s heart, and we posted a story about her only last week.
Owners of XL bully dogs have only one week to ensure their pets are legal.
From December 31, XL bulldogs must be muzzled in public and it will be illegal to breed, sell or abandon them. Advertising, gifting and exchanging the pups will also be banned.
The Government has also reminded owners that they can ask a vet to put their pets down and claim compensation
Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “New legal restrictions for XL bullies are now less than a week away.
“Owners should read the guidance and ensure they are ready to comply with the new rules, which includes keeping your XL bully dog muzzled and on a lead in public from 31 December.
“From 1 February 2024, it will also be a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL bully in England and Wales unless you have applied for an exemption.
“Please do not risk leaving it to the last minute if you want to keep your dog, you should apply now for a certificate of exemption.
“We recommend a precautionary approach – if you are unsure if your dog is an XL bully or whether any puppies may grow up to be of this dog type, you should comply with the relevant requirements and restrictions.
The full ban will come into place on February 1, meaning owners have just over six weeks left to apply for an exemption certificate to keep their dogs, or face potential criminal proceedings and an unlimited fine.
To qualify for an exemption certificate, owners must prove their XL bully has been neutered by June 30. If the pup is less than a year old by January 31, they must neutered by the end of 2024, and evidence must be provided.
As well as neutering their animals, XL bully owners seeking an exemption must also pay an application fee, hold active public liability insurance for their pets and ensure the dogs are microchipped.
The measures were introduced after a rise in dog attacks over recent years. Until 2021 there were about three deaths a year, but there have since been 23.
People with dangerously out of control dogs can be jailed for 14 years and banned from owning animals, and their pets can be put down.
A happy ending for Helen, but not for all
And while we can all take comfort in Helen’s happy ending this Christmas, let’s not forget that there are thousands more dogs, cats and other animals of all breeds, shapes and sizes still waiting for their forever homes.
A consultation on Welsh Government proposals to strengthen how animal activities are regulated has been published recently, and Wales has an opportunity to do better for animals and to address our reputation as a puppy farm capital of the UK.
The 12-week consultation is available here: Licensing of animal welfare establishments, activities and exhibits | GOV.WALES.
To find out more about other dogs in search of their forever home and a Christmas miracle from Cardiff Dogs Home, please click here.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.