RSPCA highlight plight of older animals left behind in its care

This ‘International Homeless Animals Day’ (17 August), the RSPCA is raising awareness of the forgotten animals left in its care.

11-year old Astrid has been in RSPCA care for a year.

Dogs, cats and horses aged over seven years all wait longer for their new home – according to new figures from the charity relating to adoption trends from 2018.

The RSPCA also has more older animals in its care than young animals, making it even harder to ensure they get noticed.

Dogs over the age of seven wait, on average, 50 days for a new home, whilst dogs under one were adopted within 11 days of reaching the charity.

For cats- the most rescued animals by the RSPCA – older felines were adopted within an average of 45 days and those under one year old were adopted in a quarter of the amount of time – just 12 days.

Equine takes the longest for the charity to rehome; horses under three years wait 225 days for a new home and those over seven wait for 307 days.

Pet welfare expert at the RSPCA, Dr Jane Tyson, said: “We would always urge anyone thinking of getting a pet to rescue than rehome an animal, Sadly, it is true that older animals are waiting longer for their forever home and may be seen as less than appealing than a younger pet.

“Owning an older pet has so many benefits for them and for you, young animals may need lots of attention and training whereas many older animals can already be toilet trained and used to being around people, travelling and living in a family home.

“Just last year we adopted our oldest dog ever – a 19-year old terrier – into a loving home to live out his days. By adopting an animal, you are saving two animals lives – as you are giving one animal a new home and a second animal a space in a rescue centre. Those of us who own animals know how amazing it is to have a pet as part of your family, but it is important to remember it is a privilege to look after an animal and it is a huge responsibility to make sure the relationship is successful.

“The RSPCA has lots of information about the welfare of all animals online as well as tips for keeping your animal happy and healthy.”

Seventeen-year old Prince

Here are just some of the amazing older animals currently in RSPCA care:

Storm is a 13-year old, affectionate, sweet-natured Staffy who is looking for a loving home to call her own. She can no longer hear but she still enjoys a playful dash around the field at Mount Noddy animal centre where she is currently being looked after.

Storm would prefer her family to be around for a good part of the day as she loves company and can struggle being on her own for long periods of time. She loves people but would struggle with another dog in the home.

Astrid is an 11-year old contented cat who has been with the RSPCA for a year. She has been in a foster home around children which has been great for her. She’s a lap cat who loves fuss and attention and will happily snooze for most of the day.

Astrid is neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and up to date with flea/worm treatment. She is currently at the RSPCA Essex South West branch.

Seventeen-year old Prince is the most wonderful gentle giant who stands at approximately 17hh and is a real gentleman. Prince is looking for a companion home where he can live out with other field companions. He will need to be rugged in the winter months and could also be stabbed part of the time. Prince is a wonderful gelding and is very good to handle, lead and groom and stands well for both the vet and the farrier. He has veen vaccinated for both flu and tetanus, his adoption fee is £200.

If you think you could offer any of the animals in RSPCA care a new home, you can visit – for more information.