Halifax rescue dog has starring role in RSPCA Christmas video

Bridie the Halifax rescue dog
Bridie the Halifax rescue dog

A rescue dog from Halifax has been given a starring role in this year’s heartwarming RSPCA Christmas video which shows a dog finding her forever home and passing on the love to other rescue animals.

The video, Give A Little Love, features Bridie who was rehabilitated and rehomed at the charity’s branch in Halifax, after suffering horrific neglect.

The video was launched last week and has already been viewed over 180,000 times on social media, sparking thousands of shares and more than 10,000 comments and reactions.

The short film was made by the charity’s broadcast team of just three and was filmed at two RSPCA centres in November, and all the animals featured are genuine RSPCA rescues. Everyone involved with the film works for the RSPCA at the Sussex head office, from the production team of three, to the staff appearing in the film – even the singer who wrote and performs the song.

The starring role is filled by real life RSPCA rescue dog, Irish Setter Bridie, making her film debut. She attends training classes near her home in Sussex, but otherwise has had no special preparation for her role, illustrating the potential that so many dogs awaiting adoption in RSPCA centres can offer their new owners.

Bridie was discovered in 2014 with thirteen other fully-grown Irish Setter dogs, crammed into squalid puppy cages (pictured below) kept between the filthy kitchen, bathroom and the garden shed at the home of a dog breeder in west Yorkshire. They were some of the worst conditions the inspector had ever seen. The front of the shed was barricaded shut with wooden pallets and posts, and the dogs had no food, water or bedding.

Bridie was covered in faeces, had various untreated injuries and her coat was matted and filthy, a far cry from her new life in Sussex with owner Dr Julia Wrathall who adopted Bridie from RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield and District Branch Animal Centre following 18 months of rehabilitation by staff and volunteers.

Julie Cockroft, manager at RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield and District Branch Animal Centre said: “I am so proud of Bridie and her achievements. To think back to the state she and the eight other Irish Setters were in when they were first rescued and brought to our centre, it’s an amazing transformation.

“Our staff here at the branch worked unbelievably hard to rehabilitate the dogs and reassure them that life was definitely going to get better. I’m delighted to say all were found loving new homes and we still keep in touch with many of the adopters and enjoy hearing regular updates on how each dog is getting on.”

The original song featured on the video, called ‘Give A Little Love’, comes from UK songwriters Alistair Gavan and Lucy Ellie Cooper - who allowed the charity to use it free of charge. It was both written and performed by Alistair, a musician and record producer from Brighton and country singer Lucy from Haywards Heath, who also works for the charity.

Amie Hill, video producer at the RSPCA said: “We are absolutely amazed at how popular our video has been, and are just so happy that the public has taken Bridie’s story into their hearts. Bridie was an absolute star to work with, and the fact she is such a happy and relaxed dog is down to the team at the Halifax, Huddersfield & District branch who were responsible for rehabilitating her after her terrible ordeal, and then finding her a loving new home. We hope this video will highlight the difficult that we as a welfare charity are facing this winter. In fact, last winter we received more calls about neglect than anything else - resulting in one call every four minutes to our emergency line about neglected animals.

For more information about the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & District branch please visit: www.rspca-halifaxandhuddersfield.org.uk