December 9, 2023


When Joanna adopted a hedgehog that was kept in a cage with a sickly male hedgehog four years ago, she accomplished her goal. Male hedgehogs will fight like other males if housed in a group.

Banjan requires care because he fought with his last owner, lost an ear, and contracted fleas and mites. Joanna and her partner Rory fell in love with helping animals throughout the months they spent nursing him back to health. Several of her local rescue organizations, including Animal Rescue in Doolittle and Freshfield Animal Rescue in the UK, have benefited from her work with furry, feathered, and scaly animals. The couple acquired numerous animals in need, including cats, dogs, birds, and ducks, but they also made some grooming errors along the way!

The well-being of pets is never far from them. During a trip to Bulgaria, the couple brought dog food to feed the large number of homeless people they saw. Their souvenir is a skinny street dog they rescued from a busy highway. He later joined the UK with a British foster family in Bulgaria working with Doolittle’s Animal Rescue to keep him in satisfactory health. It is known that Shook is now in good health and is enjoying himself with his new family.

While there is a lot of love and happiness in saving and caring for animals, it also comes with some heartbreak. Joanna and Rory’s newest foster carer brings it all.

They heard about Migoi from a Bulgarian family, and they raised Shuck as he recovered from his homeless life. Still a puppy, Migoi suffered appalling, unspeakable abuse. In the cold outdoors, he was tethered to a short chain as a “watchdog”. When rescued, he was stunted by malnutrition and lack of exercise, beaten by his cruel master, and had his ears and eyesight stolen.

Migoi is cared for by a Bulgarian woman named Maxime, an experienced caregiver who took care of more than 40 dogs last year. A family in the UK was lining up to adopt him, but while waiting for his transfer, they suddenly changed their minds, saying he was “too ugly”.

Joanna and Rory didn’t hesitate to offer to put him in foster care. They knew it would be a challenge to get him back to health and learn to care for a blind dog, but they also knew they could give him the love he deserved.

While some dogs are just nervous about humans after being abused, Migoi is ready to be loved! Joanna told iHeartDogs, “He was the cutest boy though and absolutely fell in love with people.”

Even though Migoi is blind, Joanna and Rory try their best to instill in him the confidence to move about their home. They were able to keep him safe and get him the medical care he need, but there were other difficulties they ran into that they weren’t prepared for and weren’t sure how to handle. Fortunately, a different family member was prepared to offer assistance.

“Every time we took Migoi to the vet, we took Shuck. Their bond became so strong that he became Migoi’s companion dog, keeping him calm.”

“Migoi will always be with us, there’s no doubt about that. We’re really bad at caring and can’t imagine sending our little boy away! We hope the surgery saves one of his eyes, which should help Boost his confidence. Once he’s ready, we plan to take him on a backpacking trip in Europe with Shook.”

“We strongly believe that Migoi should be able to live like any other dog, that he should be able to roam freely and play with other dogs. If he addresses his confidence issues and teaches him how to deal with obstacles, he will be that dog.”

“We don’t think that his blindness should limit him in any way as it shouldn’t limit any other blind dog… If Migoi can do it, any dog can do it. Of course it’s harder and takes more time and vigilance to keep him safe, but that’s our job as his parents.”

“Our boy came a really long way within just a few months and he still has a long way to go, but we will support him every step on the way.”