Rescue dog brings love and light into new family

The Hislop family share a love for animals, so when their 10-year-old dog died in February 2023, the loss changed their lives.

Stavy who was an American Staffy x Blue Heeler, passed away “out of the blue,” recalls her owner, Ryan. The family’s other dog, a seven-year-old English Blue Staffy named Cleo, was especially affected by the sudden loss of her fur-friend.

“It heavily affected Cleo- the neighbours told us that she cried all the time when we weren’t home.”

Ryan randomly came across Rusty on an RSPCA South Australia Facebook post. Rusty was available for adoption at RSPCA’s Whyalla Shelter and Ryan thought the Rhodesian Ridgeback cross could be a good fit for their family, so long as he was compatible with Cleo and their cats, Henry and Arthur.

The dog-care team at the shelter was very helpful, particularly with Ryan’s concerns about Rusty getting along with cats.

“The staff at the shelter were awesome providing photos and videos of Rusty as we made up our mind,” Ryan recalled.

“They even walked him past cats, to see if he was ok with them.”

Adopting a new pet is a commitment, and the Hislop family spent some time discussing all the pros and cons before making the life-changing decision to adopt Rusty.

“We checked in and he was still available. We thought we have space and room in our hearts for another dog, so we went for him,” Ryan said.

“After we had made our decision, we were able to organise with the shelter to bring Rusty down to Adelaide for us which was a huge help.”

“Most people we knew were not aware of the RSPCA SA Whyalla whelter and the option to have animals brought down to Adelaide.”

Rusty’s first night at his forever home was a huge success, as the whole family including Ryan’s Fiance Hayley, and their children, 10-year-old Ryder and four-year-old Alyce, showered him with love.

“The night we brought him home he strutted through the door and the whole family welcomed him including all the furbabies.”

“He has brought a lot of joy to the kids and even Cleo has perked back up and acts like a puppy again.”

These days Rusty enjoys an active life, playing with members of his new family, going on daily walks at the beach, and making everyone laugh with his sneaky habit of stealing food.

“He loves to go for ventures to our local beach and tends to go wherever we go,” said Ryan.

Rusty is enrolled at School for Dogs Aldinga Bay and is a “natural learner.” He knows how to ‘sit’ and ‘drop’.

“He has recently graduated with a bronze certificate and will soon start to train for his silver certificate in October,” Ryan proudly reports.

“Rusty comes to work from time to time and even was able to be left off his lead on the first day as a site pup.”

This adoption is clearly a match made in heaven. Rusty is living his best life and is adored by everyone he meets.

“Rusty gets shy at first but always gets along well with all our friends and family and fits perfectly in our household,” Ryan expressed.

Thinking about adopting an animal in need like Rusty? You can view animals available for adoption HERE.

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