AN abandoned dog has finally found a new home after spending nearly 500 days in the kennels of an animal charity.

Lurcher Jake, who is two, became the charity’s longest resident as he failed to win the hearts of prospective owners.

The unclaimed stray initially spent several months under the care of the National Animal Welfare Trust’s centre in Watford.

After being consistently overlooked by possible new owners, the poor pooch was eventually transferred to the organisation’s base in Clacton in March last year with the hope of finding a new home.

But Jake’s shyness around new people unfortunately proved to be a major stumbling block and made him an unattractive choice for people looking for a dog.

He started to come out of his furry shell, however, after slowly warming to the trust’s employees, who worked out he needed a companion in order to thrive.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

A spokesman for the National Animal Welfare Trust in Clacton said: “He was incredibly nervous of new people.

“After lots of time and patience from the staff, he came around to all of us nicely.

“That is when we saw the silly, goofy dog inside and he seemed to love other dogs and they really helped with his confidence.

“So, we decided we needed to rehome him into a house where there was already an existing dog.”

His lengthy stint made him the trust’s longest resident, but nearly 500 days on from when he was first taken in, Jake is now enjoying domestic life, as well as the company of a new playmate, Gilly the greyhound.

Unlike the hundreds of other would-be owners who have passed through the kennels since his admission, Susanna Jennings, 31, and husband Kieran, 34, gave Jake a chance.

Mrs Jennings, from Brightlingsea, said: “We had to meet Jake at least eight times before taking him home because he was so scared of us, but he loved Gilly.

“It wasn’t until our third visit that he actually let us touch him, so it was a slow process, but we felt honoured he put his trust in us.

“He had been in kennels for so long, which was so sad, so we wanted to give him a chance and now we have a great bond with him.

“He was anxious at first but we can’t believe how relaxed he is now.

“He absolutely loves playing with Gilly and we are starting to see his cheeky side – he is very funny.”