The RSPCA rehomed 70 dogs in Suffolk 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 60 dogs from abuse and neglect in Suffolk and received 7,930 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 www.rspca.org.uk/findapet to find your paw-fect match. Dogs like , Roxy, Harris and Skye.
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 www.rspca.org.uk/donateadoptober, 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.
Case studies Suffolk:
Name: Roxy (aka Roxy Roo)
Breed: Staffordshire bull terrier
Where: RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch
A bit about: Roxy was quite poorly when she came to the RSPCA and was signed over because her owner could sadly no longer look after her. Roxy is feeling much better now she is on a specialist diet and is now ready for a new home.
Why Roxy is special: Roxy has now been in the care of the RSPCA for 200 days and is a very sweet girl who absolutely loves a cuddle and a play. Her favourite toy is the rabbit seen in the picture!
Ideal home: Roxy would be best suited in a home with no children and no other dogs. If you feel like you can provide Roxy with the fuss and love she deserves, download an application form today!
More information: To find out more about Roxy and to download an application form, visit her
page on Find A Pet.
Breed: German Shepherd
Where: Martlesham Animal Centre
A bit about: Sweet-natured Skye has become increasingly playful since being at the centre and loves nothing more than to chase a ball in our field. She is very responsive to training, already knows quite a few commands and has learned to ‘wait’ here too.
Why is she special: Skye is a really gentle soul who loves being with her human friends, especially when they give her attention and treats! She enjoys a walk in the woods and over the fields and has behaved positively towards the other dogs we have met while out and about. Skye does have a thyroid and a skin condition, which are now being controlled with medication. Speak to the centre about what support they can offer regarding her treatment.
Ideal home: Skye would make a lovely addition to a family and she would soon shower you with love and affection she could live with another dog – but not cats.
More information: Find out more about Sky by visiting her page on Find A Pet and you can download an application form.
Breed: Patterdale Terrier (Fell Terrier)
Where: RSPCA West Suffolk Branch
A bit about: Harris is a very special little girl and we are looking for a very special new home for her.
She loves being with people and can get anxious if her favourite humans aren’t around but she usually settles after a few minutes.
Harris is happiest when out and about, she enjoys walks, particularly in new places where there are lots of things to sniff. She has a touch of arthritis in one of her back legs but this doesn’t slow her down at all and she happily walks three times a day and will walk for up to an hour.
Harris was diagnosed with epilepsy after moving to her foster home but this is now being successfully managed with daily tablets and she hasn’t had any further episodes since starting her medication.
Harris is incredibly good natured, although she can be wary and quiet with strange humans she is happy to meet new people and especially loves children.
Why she is so special: She is calm, affectionate and fantastic company. Harris is completely house trained, she does know the command ‘sit’ but is selective about obeying it. She has reasonably good recall but is currently not walked off the lead but her foster carers are confident that the new owners will be able to train her to follow commands, especially if doggy chocolates are available.
Harris has unfortunately not learned how to behave around other dogs, so her foster carers have trained her to wear a muzzle whenever she is out which she is happy to do. But she has learned in her foster home to stay calmer when she sees other dogs and her forever family will need to be committed to supporting this special girl with continued training and reinforcement.
Harris is a little star, a pocket rocket who adores people, likes to be busy, loves cuddles and will be the most loyal member of the family you could wish for. Harris is an adorable dog who loves to run and play with anyone who will let her!
Ideal home: She is very intelligent and needs to be in a home where she can be involved in family life, particularly if she can have an important job like checking the garden last thing at night or watching the washing being hung on the line. She loves travelling in the car, curling up to sleep through most journeys. As well as walks she loves playing fetch with a tennis ball and needs to be re-homed somewhere with an enclosed garden where she can play. She has a high chase drive, so will run after animals like cats if they run away, so would be best in a home without any other pets.
More information: Find out more about Harris by visiting her page on Find A Pet and you can download an application form.