Charming, loving terrier Rats is a big character in a small body. He was handed in to an Irish pound by his owner, in full knowledge of the fact that – under Irish rules – he could be put to sleep in hours, not even given the five day period allotted to strays.

At only eight years old (middle age for a terrier), Rats didn’t deserve to robbed of half his natural life, so The Oldies Club stepped in.

After travelling across land and sea to safety, thanks to a huge chain of volunteer transporters, each helping on their own part of the journey, Rats made it to a foster home in Norfolk.

There, he was assessed and given the veterinary treatment he needed. He was also diagnosed with a mild heart murmur – nothing that needed medication, and certainly nothing that could stand in the way of this little dog’s bouncy take on life!

Rats was put onto the Oldies Club website and – within a fortnight – Jacqui had fallen hook, line and sinker for this soppy little chap.

After a successful meeting with his new mum and her two dogs, Rats took one last trip to his new home in Lincoln where – now known as Alfie – it’s like he has always lived there!

Initially growly and frightened of his new dad (perhaps due to past mistreatment from men), we think we can safely say Alfie has got over his qualms… there’s nothing he likes better than a tummy rub in front of the TV –

– except, perhaps, a game with his new pals!

And what does Jacqui have to say about her new addition?

“He’s a little smasher, very clean, loves everybody, loves to play outside; runs like a maniac round the garden with the other dogs but is equally as eager to go out on his lead.

He’s not a fussy eater, gentle when taking treats and waits his turn with the others when getting extra from the Sunday roast. Always quick to jump onto the sofa if there’s some fussing to be had – how could you refuse!

I can’t bear to think of him being taken to be put to sleep when he’s got so much love to give, and he gets it back in spades. He’s not possesive, he’s not snappy and I can’t think of any reason why someone wouldn’t want to keep him. Anyway – their loss is our gain!”