AN abandoned dog has found a loving home for the second time.

Athena, a Rottweiler cross has been adopted by a Winsford family and has become the 12,000th dog to be rescued by Dogs Trust Merseyside.

The dog was found running round the grounds of the rehoming centre in 2015.

Staff coaxed her to safety and the bouncy youngster soon found a new home.

Sadly, after being happily settled in her home for more than three years, her new owner recently died and Athena found herself back with the charity.

Georgina Lowery, Dogs Trust Merseyside Rehoming Centre Manager, said:“Athena made lots of friends when she was first at the rehoming centre nearly four years ago so it was with heavy hearts that we saw her come back to us again in such sad circumstances.

"She is absolutely beautiful and we were all hoping that it wouldn’t be long before someone fell for her.”

The Massey family from Winsford had been considering getting a dog for some time after their Lurcher, Mitsy, had died in 2016.

Kevin Massey said: “It felt the right time to get a new dog and we knew there would be lots looking for new homes in the New Year so my wife Andrea, started looking at the Dogs Trust website. She knew I would like a Rottweiler and she spotted Athena. As soon as I read about her we all knew we wanted to meet her.”

Kevin and Andrea along with their son Keelan and daughter Kendra, formed a instant bond with Athena.

Kevin added: “We were told all about her history and it was heartbreaking to hear what she had been through. Then we got to meet her and we fell in love with her straight away.

"We spent a few hours with her. We couldn’t drag ourselves away! She is just gorgeous and so gentle.

"Mitsy had been very lively and we thought Athena was going to be the same but she is incredibly chilled. She loves getting out on great walks but she also thinks she’s a lap dog sometimes and loves a cuddle. We have never had a rescue dog before but would definitely recommend it.

"She is simply a lovely dog and to know that she’s the 12,000th to be rehomed is fantastic.”

Georgina added: “It’s always special when we reach a landmark figure like this and given what Athena has been through, it’s extra special. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported us since we opened in 1999 and especially to people like the Masseys who have chosen to rescue for the first time and given Athena another chance of happiness.”

To find out all the dogs looking for homes call 0300 303 0292 or visit or call into Dogs Trust Merseyside on Whiston Lane, Liverpool. It is open 12pm-4pm, every day except Wednesday.