An XL Bully left alone in an abandoned home for months has been rehomed days before tough new regulations came into force today.

Volunteers at RATS Animal Rescue in Buntingford launched an urgent 'Coco's Christmas Miracle' appeal through our websites to find Coco a new home

She had been left neglected, in isolation, with minimal human interaction or companionship before arriving at the rescue centre about two months ago in a "sorry state".

Military veteran Jay and his partner Kelly saw the appeal for Coco published on The Royston Crow - one of our Hertfordshire websites - and contacted the kennels to register their interest.

Herts Advertiser: New owner Jay with Coco (left) and BellaNew owner Jay with Coco (left) and Bella (Image: RATS)

After several meetings with Coco and their other dog, an 11-year-old rescue from Battersea Dogs Home called Bella, Jay and Kelly decided to adopt Coco, and on December 27 collected her from the kennels to start her new life.

Anjuli Cooper, from RATS, said: “This is the best outcome we could have hoped for, and we are delighted that Coco has found wonderful and experienced new owners, who are fully committed to her training and care.

"The paperwork has now been signed and Coco has officially been adopted by Jay and Kelly, meaning she has a loving new home and will not have to live at the RATS kennels for the rest of her life.

“As we go into the new year our policy at RATS remains the same - to never put a healthy animal to sleep simply because no home has been found. We will continue to ensure that our animals are rehomed into suitable, loving and secure homes where they may live out the rest of their lives happily.”

Herts Advertiser: XL Bully Coco has found her new homeXL Bully Coco has found her new home (Image: RATS)

Animal shelters across the country faced enormous pressure to rehome XL Bully dogs before the December 31 deadline - placing tougher restrictions on ownership and rehoming.

During the campaign to rehome her the RATS team held a 'Hot Cocoa with Coco' morning at the kennels for potential new owners to meet her, designed a heart-warming Christmas card featuring Coco's story, and sent out Christmas mailers appealing to their many hundreds of subscribers.

But it was following an appeal across our Hertfordshire websites - the Royston Crow, Watford Observer, The Comet, Herts Advertiser and Welwyn Hatfield Times - that Coco found her forever home.

The RATS team have heard Coco is settling in well and have received several updates and photos  from Jay and Kelly. Their other dog Bella is a Staffy X who will also be treated as an XL Bully, so Jay is going through the exemption and muzzle-training programme with her as well.

The charity relies on donations from the public, and any fundraising efforts and support people can offer is welcome. For more information visit