The RSPCA rehomed 363 dogs in Essex last year and, while Staffies are still the most rescued breed, designer dogs are appearing more and more in the charity’s rehoming centres.

As part of the RSPCA’s special rehoming drive Adoptober, new national figures have been released showing that while pure-breed and crossbreed Staffies, lurchers, Jack Russell terriers and German shepherds are still the most common dog to come into its care, more trendy ‘handbag’ breeds and fashionable crossbreeds are also ending up in the charity’s 17 national animal centres.

The number of chihuahuas coming into the RSPCA’s care has gone up by 700% in the last seven years (14 in 2012 to 112 in 2018), while the number of French bulldogs is up 236%, Dachshunds are up 600% and Pomeranians are up 440%.

The charity is also seeing more crossbreeds and breeds used for popular crosses – such as cocker spaniels and poodles – arriving in its centres as inspectors shut down puppy farms and collect abandoned dogs and puppies.

Last year, the RSPCA rescued 177 dogs from abuse and neglect in Essex and received 17,270 calls to its 24-hour cruelty hotline about animals in the county.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “Although Staffies, lurchers, Jack Russell terriers and German shepherds are still the most common dogs coming into our centres, we are seeing a general decrease in their numbers while seeing an increase in the number of fashionable crossbreeds and so-called designer dogs like Dachshunds and French bulldogs arriving in our care.

“We know that the animals coming into our care tend to reflect general dog ownership trends and there’s been a huge surge in recent years in people buying ‘designer dogs’ and crossbreeds such as cavachons, puggles and cockerpoos.

“As part of our rehoming drive this October – called Adoptober – we want to shine a light on all of the dogs in our care and encourage people to adopt a rescue dog instead of buying a puppy. All the animals in our care have a lot of love to give and we have a huge variety of dogs in our kennels waiting for homes, of all ages, shapes, sizes and breeds.”

The RSPCA rescues animals from the worst abuse and neglect and, by giving them a home, you are giving them a second chance at life.

Thankfully, not all the dogs rescued by the RSPCA need to be rehomed as some already have owners and can be returned. Some pets go to vets or come into RSPCA hospitals for treatment, while we also work closely with other charities who sometimes assist us with rehoming.

Adoptober is a rehoming drive to raise awareness of some of the animals in RSPCA care who so desperately need a forever home. To offer an RSPCA rescue dog a new home please visit to find your paw-fect match. Dogs like Bluebell and Daisy, Kimani, Bob, Jack, Sato, Hollie and Lady.

Name: Bluebell and Daisy

Age: Four and seven

Breed: Chihuahua and Akita X Rottweiler

Where: RSPCA Essex South, Southend & District Branch

A bit about: Meet the odd couple! Gorgeous Bluebell and Daisy are a little and large pair who are always together. They hate to be apart and at bedtime Bluebell picks up her bedding from her own bed and takes it into Daisy’s, and cuddles up to her to sleep.

 Why they’re special: Bluebell and Daisy are the best of friends and inseparable! They were signed in to RSPCA care after their owner could no longer look after them.  Akita cross Rottweiler Daisy has quite deformed front paws which she has had since birth. It does impact on her movement and how far she can walk, but she is not currently in pain. Her claws are slowly being clipped back which we are slowly gaining her trust with! Little Bluebell can be a little shy, but is a delightful little dog who just loves to be with her best friend.

Ideal home:  These girls need a home together so will need a home that can look after and love them both. Due to Daisy’s size it would be best if these girls were rehomed to a family with older children or an adult only home. They both need direct access to a secure, private garden – particularly for Daisy as her outside walks will be more limited.

More information: To find out more about Bluebell and Daisy please visit their page on Find A Pet and to offer them a home contact

Name: Kimani

Age: 5

Breed: Bull breed X

Where: RSPCA Danaher Animal Home

A bit about: Beautiful Kimani was brought in to RSPCA Danaher after his owner could no longer meet his needs. He is a playful and affectionate boy who will make a great loving and loyal dog – he is just dreaming of a home and new family to call his own.

Why he’s special: Kimani is finding kennel life hard and even though staff are doing everything they can to make him comfortable we know that he will be much happier in a home environment with a new owner to love.

Ideal home: Kimani gets on with other dogs but would prefer to be the only one in the home so he can soak up all the attention!

More information: To find out more about Kimani or to offer him a home please visit his page. 

Name: Bob

Age: 3

Breed: Lurcher

Where: RSPCA South, Southend & District Branch

A bit about: Handsome Bob came into our care with four other Lurchers who were all abandoned in a van. He is a shy soul but is slowly learning to trust people and is gaining confidence.

Why he’s special: Poor Bob was the most nervous of people when he arrived and was easily startled. Four months on and he is starting to come out of his shell now which is lovely to see. It would be lovely for him to find his forever home so he can continue growing in confidence and have the love that he deserves.

Ideal home: Bob would probably do best in an adult only home, so he doesn’t have to worry about noise and fast movement etc from any children. He would love a nice predictable home where he is not left long hours – because once he does bond with you he does like to have you around!

More information: To find out more about Bob please visit his page on Find A Pet and to offer him a home contact

Name: Jack

Age: 3

Breed: Lurcher

Where: RSPCA Danaher Animal Home

A bit about: Jumping Jack is full of beans and loves nothing more than a good run around and playing with his ball!

Why he’s special: This lovely boy arrived in our care for the second time around after his previous owner sadly fell ill. Jack was a little unsure at first when arriving at Danaher, but it did not take him long to make friends with his handlers. From time to time, Jack can feel anxious and lack confidence, but with positive encouragement he soon relaxes and shows his affectionate character.

Ideal home: Jack is a high energy dog, typical of his breed, so requires a home that can provide him with the exercise and mental stimulation he needs, as well as helping to build his confidence.

More information:  To find out more about Jack or to offer him a home please visit his page.

Name: Sato

Age: Three

Breed: Akita

Where: RSPCA Danaher Animal Home

A bit about: Sato loves exploring new surroundings and sniffing her way through the countryside. She is an intelligent girl and enjoys interacting in brain and puzzle games. This beautiful girl has lots of love and kisses to give, she is very affectionate and enjoys sitting by your side and relaxing.

Why she’s special: Sato was admitted at Danaher after being found as a stray so we do not know anything about her past – but she has a bright future ahead of her!

Ideal home: Sato would make a great loyal family dog, but due to her size may be more suited to a family with older children.

More information:  To find out more about Sato or to offer her a home please visit her page.

Name: Hollie

Age: Eight

Breed: German Shepherd

Where: RSPCA Danaher Animal Home

A bit about: Hollie is a sweet, loving and affectionate girl and loves to snuggle up to you or have her belly rubbed. Hollie really enjoys being out and about exploring the world around her. She also enjoys the company of other dogs and is a playful girl, so she could potentially live with another dog.

Why she’s special: This gorgeous girl came into our care after her previous owner could no longer cope.

Ideal home: Hollie would make for a loving, loyal family dog. She is friendly to everyone and has a lot of love to give – she may benefit from some more training and be better suited to a home with experience of dogs.

More information: To find out more about Hollie or to offer her a home please visit her page.


Name: Lady

Age: Three

Breed: Jack Russell terrier X

Where: RSPCA Danaher Animal Home

A bit about: Lady is a very sweet and gentle natured girl who enjoys human interaction and lots of affection and attention! She loves her walks and a good sniff-about and is craving to be in a loving new home that she can snuggle down in.

Why she’s special: Poor Lady is finding life in the kennel environment difficult and cannot wait to find herself a new home and loving owner. She loves treats and because of this she has shown us she is very eager to learn and has already mastered some!

Ideal home:  Lady is a sociable little soul when she is out and about and likes to meet other dogs – but likes to have her own space at home so she will need to be the only dog in the home.  She can’t wait to have her own home to relax in and enjoy some home comforts with her new family.

More information: To find out more about Lady or to offer her a home please visit her page.

One of the benefits of adopting a dog from the RSPCA means they are already neutered and vaccinated. You could also take advantage of four weeks’ free RSPCA Pet insurance*. What’s more, if you decide to take out a full RSPCA Pet insurance policy once this has expired, you will also be supporting other rescue pets as 15% of the premium you pay goes towards helping animals in need.
If you are not in a position to give a pet a home this October, you can still help thousands of animals in our care by donating at, sponsoring a dog kennel or cat pod for just £1.50 a week, or showing your support for rescue pets with one of our RSPCA T-shirts. Or if you want to support the work of your local RSPCA branch visit their website.