Broken-hearted elderly Collie searches for retirement home after owner dies

An eleven-year old Border Collie is looking for a new owner to mend his broken heart after his owner became ill and could no longer take care of him.

Ernie has spent more than a year in kennels and staff at RSPCA West Suffolk branch are now trying to find him the paw-fect home.

Stella Pledger, from the branch said: “Ernie’s devoted owner was becoming increasingly unwell and was unable to provide for him so the family put him into kennels hoping it would be a temporary measure. Sadly, almost a year later, his owner passed away and Ernie had nowhere to go.

“It must have been extremely difficult for Ernie who, as far as we know spent his whole life with his previous owner, to suddenly find his whole world turned upside down and end up in kennels while pining for his owner. The poor lad was broken-hearted.

“We use the same kennels to board some of our dogs so when we found out Ernie needed a new home, we agreed to take him on and try to find him the right family.”

The rough-coated collie is a sweet and easy-going pooch who would like a calm and quiet retirement home. He loves food and will do almost anything for a treat, and he also enjoys going for walks. Considering his age, he can be strong on the lead so needs an owner who can manage that and work with him on his lead madders.

Stella added: “Ernie can be a little unpredictable and we had a behavioural assessment done. He is good with people he knows and trusts but is suspicious of strangers and can get overwhelmed meeting new people. He doesn’t like being groomed but had a lot of matted fur so we’ve been gradually working to tidy up his coat and build up his confidence with the experience as he’ll need continued brushing and grooming in his new home.

“Ernie needs an owner who can work with him slowly and give him time and space to slowly adjust to his new surroundings and owners. However, it’ll certainly be worth it as he is truly a wonderful, loving dog once he’s comfortable enough to show his side. And he’s also incredibly playful given his senior age.

“He loves to play ball and is keen to learn new tricks and already knows lots of basic commands.”

Ernie was a little stiff when he arrived but is now on mediation for arthritis which has given him a new lease of life, but new owners will need to factor in the ongoing cost of this treatment.

He’s looking for a home without children or other pets. He can be left alone for short periods of time and is a bright spark looking for love in his twilight years. He needs an experienced home with minimal stress where new owners will gently handle him and respect his boundaries.

To find out more about Ernie, you can visit his online profile or contact RSPCA West Suffolk on 0300 330 1405 or