A dog abandoned in a kennel for 18 months has found happiness with her new family.

Mia, the dog, had an extended 18-month stay at Papamoa Kennels and Cattery when her original owner dropped her off but never returned. The Bay of Plenty Times published Mia's plight in March.

Now the black staffy-cross spends her days cuddling her favourite toy, enjoying belly rubs from her older 'siblings' and enjoying life as a much-loved member of the Bennett family.

Craig and Jana Bennett said they were baffled when they first heard about Mia being left behind.


"We don't really understand how someone could abandon her for such a long time, but we don't know their situation," Mr Bennett said.

Mr Bennett had been working at the port when he was flicking through pages of the Bay of Plenty Times and found the article about Mia.

"We weren't looking for a dog. We had talked about it but thought it wasn't for us because we sometimes go away. Then I saw the article and I took it away with me and showed Jana," he said.

"Her first reaction was 'when do we go pick her up?' That was the extent of the conversation."

The Bethlehem couple talked about the prospect of a new addition to the family over with their children, Dominik, 9, and Andrejka, 6, and visited the kennel to see what Mia was like.

They returned days later to talk through possible adoption with kennel staff. By the third visit, Mia was hopping into the car.

"It was really hard when we went to pick her up. There were a couple of tears from the staff. They had looked after her for so long," Mr Bennett said.

Mrs Bennett said the kennel staff had done an amazing job with training Mia, who sits and stays on command and is generally "very well-behaved".

"They did such a good job with her. She was loved by them, and it shows."

The only issue with Mia was that she loved cuddles so much, she tried to cuddle people by jumping on them, Mrs Bennett said.

"So we are trying to work on that."

Mrs Bennett said Mia had also provided plenty of learning for the children. A month ago, Dominik was especially cautious of dogs. These days he gladly wraps his arms around her.

"Now we have her, it really feels like we are complete.

"It's perfect," Mrs Bennett said.