Rehoming dogs and cats: RSPCA reveals hardest-to-rehome pets for Adoptober
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Bouncing seven-year-old Boycie is playful Saluki crossbreed who is very affectionate and knows all his basic commands. He loves playing with toys and is described as a dog who would be a perfect addition to a family.
But sadly he and his breed have been named as the RSPCA's hardest-to-rehome dogs - even though the animal charity says they don't deserve the title of least-loved pets.
Salukis are, according to the RSPCA's figures, left on the shelf for 142 days - almost five months - before they are found a home. And the organisation's Adoptober campaign which promotes adoption and highlights animals in its care, aims to match more pets to new owners. The RSPCA says that more people are handing over pets than taking them away at the moment, so rescue centres are “full to bursting” with unwanted animals.
This follows a collapse in rehoming rates; which have fallen by 30% from three years ago - when 39,178 animals were rehomed. In 2022, only 27,535 animals were rehomed by the RSPCA.
Between 2020 and 2022, it took the RSPCA on average 29 days to rehome a cat, and 39 days for a dog. But some have to wait a lot longer....
|Saluki||Average rehoming time 142 days|
|Beagle (cross)||81 days|
|Husky (Siberian)||69 days|
|German Shepherd - cross||68 days|
|Yorkshire Terrier||66 days|
The latest data from the charity shows that Salukis are likely to be the dogs who spend the longest looking for a new home, with an average stay of 142 days, while Sphinx and Persian cats seem most likely to be overlooked compared to other felines.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have spent the least time looking for a home, with an average of just over nine days, closely followed by Chihuahua crosses which take just over 12 days to rehome on average. Popular Dachshunds are also easier to rehome than most pets, with an average of just over 19 days in RSPCA care.
Cats, on average, have taken less time to find a new home than dogs. The Norwegian Forest Cat has been the quickest feline breed to be rehomed, finding new owners within an average of three days, followed by the siamese cat at just over four days to rehome.
Dr Samantha Gaines, head of companion animals at the RSPCA, said: “The staff who care for our animals day in, day out know just how loveable each and every one of our rescue pets is and how different they are from one another, regardless of breed. However, we do find that some breeds take longer to find their perfect match.
“This is likely due to a combination of reasons - including beliefs, often false, about particular breeds, and some owners preferring certain sizes of pet. Sadly, these things can often stop people from even considering the possibility of adopting certain breeds. It’s so sad that animals are overlooked because of how they look.
“It can also come down to things such as colour. Black cats are notoriously hard to rehome because of the common belief that black cats are unlucky; and remarkably 82 per cent of our national RSPCA centres have heard the myth that ‘black cats are unlucky’.
“We would urge anyone looking for a pet to do their research especially as the reputation of a particular breed or type is often undeserved. “Every animal is an individual with its own personality, quirks and character traits. While breed can help highlight some things about an animal, it is much less important, what’s important is the personality of the individual animal. Breed is never a guarantee for behaviour. You are more likely to find the perfect match and your best friend for life if you look beyond breed and instead look for a personality that matches yours.
“We’d urge anyone ready and able to adopt a rescue animal to fill in a perfect match form with your local RSPCA centre or branch and they’ll let you know when an animal who matches you comes into their care. Those of us with adopted pets know how rewarding it can be to share our lives with them, and watch them thrive after being given a second chance.
“Rescue pets are not all ‘broken’ or ‘damaged’ because of their past - even those animals who have experienced the worst cruelty can bounce back and enjoy life as much as any other animal; and we hope to find many more of these fantastic rescue pets their new forever home this Adoptober.”
Boycie is at the RSPCA's Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey. Anyone who could offer him or another rescue pet a loving new home can visit Find A Pet to see all of the animals currently in the RSPCA’s care who are looking for a match. The charity is also asking people to help by donating online or calling the charity’s donation line on 0300 123 8181; sponsoring a cat pod or a dog kennel and help take care of the animals during their stay; and supporting the work of your local centre or branch by becoming a volunteer or donating to them directly.