PICTURE SPECIAL: Meet the 12 Dogs of Christmas

MEET this year’s 12 Dogs of Christmas, a dozen homeless hounds desperate for a family of their own. Katy Wheeler went along to Cleadon Kennels to find out what puts a wag in their tails.

We went along to Cleadon Kennels to find out what puts a wag in their tails.

1. OLAF, named after the Frozen character, doesn’t want to be left out in the cold this Christmas.

The three-year-old German shepherd may be big, but he’d be a gentle giant with the right owner, says kennel manager Aimee Everest.

“I wouldn’t advise he goes to anyone with small children as he’s rather bouncy,” she said. “But he’s a lovely dog, really well behaved. He was found wandering in South Shields by a member of the public. He’s a stunning dog.”

2. ENERGETIC Elsa is looking for someone who likes long walks.

The three-year-old cross-Labrador was found wandering in West Boldon, looking for her owner.

But they never came forward to collect her and now Elsa needs a new home.

“She’s quite small, but she loves long walks,” said Aimee.

3. FUDGE is a real sweetie.

Dog wardens found her up to her neck in water after she was tied to a lamppost in Washington during heavy rainfall.

But despite a traumatic few weeks, the chocolate Lakeland terrier is still full of beans.

Aimee said: “Fudge is about two or three. She’s not very good with kids, but she’s great with other dogs and adults. She’s a lovely dog, a proper little character.”

4. STARVED of food and love, Samson was discovered tied to a lamppost in Chester Road.

Dedicated staff at the kennels were shocked when they saw how painfully thin he was.

But ten days later, thanks to four hearty meals a day, he’s gaining weight and energy.

Aimee said: “Despite everything, he’s not timid and he has no food aggression, he’s just not that keen on other dogs.”

5. BARNEY just wants to be loved.

He’s a three-year-old male Staffordshire bull terrier, just one of hundreds of this breed who end up in the kennels each year.

“We get inundated with Staffies,” said Aimee. “They are such a misunderstood breed. With the right owner they are beautiful pets.”

6. CUTE Ozzy is full of beans,

Like most two-year-olds, the male Patterdale terrier loves to play.

“He’s very playful, this is a very energetic breed,” said Aimee. “He’d fit in with anyone really. He would be like the missing link from a family.”

7. SLEEK saluki Sven was found roaming the streets of Town End Farm.

He’s only 18-months-old and would make a perfect pet.

Aimee said: “He’s a beautiful dog, very laid back and placid. He loves cuddles and doesn’t need much exercise.”

8. RED Socks is another of the kennel’s Staffies.

She was also found abandoned in Town End Farm.

“She’s about four,” said Aimee. “She’s very quiet and loving, she loves snuggles. People see Staffies as a fashion accessory then just abandon them when they get bored of them.”

9. GIVE Dom a home.

He’s a big Staffordshire bull terrier, but he’s a gentle dog.

“He’s got a good temperament,” said Aimee about the five-year-old. “He’s very laid back and quiet and would fit in with any family.”

10. MILO is an older dog who still loves a good walk.

The border terrier was found lost and shaken in Hebburn.

“He’s an older dog, possibly seven or eight,” said Aimee. “He’d probably suit an older couple who like walks and don’t have any children at home. He’s a well behaved little dog.”

11. SANTA’S Little Helper would love for you to take her home.

Found wandering in Silksworth, the black lurcher’s very timid.

“She’s very very quiet and placid. She’d rather back away from you, than come to you,” said Aimee. “But she’s just nervous, it looks like she was used as a working dog as she has scars on her nose. She’d be quite happy with a nice, warm fire and a comfy settee to lie on.”

12. PEOPLE are put off by Joe’s size, but Aimee says people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

“He’s another Staffy and he’s big, which puts people off,” said Aimee. “I have Staffies and they make lovely pets. He was treated for a skin condition when he came in from Hendon as he had untreated fleas, but he’s fine now.”

Cleadon Kennels, in Cleadon Lane, has viewing days on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm.

It will close for Christmas on December 20 and re-open on January 3.

Anyone interested in the dogs featured can take them home for a £50 adoption fee.

This includes a free vet’s check, free micro-chipping, free neutering and four weeks’ free pet insurance.

Aimee said: “We’d love to home as many dogs as possible so they have a new home for life.

“It’s really tough at the minute because no one is thinking about homing dogs.

“We’re always looking for donations, though we have some great support throughout the year and a big ‘thank you’ to those people.

“We’ll take anything - food, blankets etc. Toys would be great too, people don’t think of them, but the dogs loves them and it really helps with stress.”

For more information Tel. 529 2369.