The RSPCA is celebrating the wonderful bond between people and dogs this Older People’s Day by urging elderly people to consider taking on an older rescue dog.
Misty is an incredible 17 years old and is just one of dozens of elderly dogs looking for a home at the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity - the oldest and largest in the UK - is trying to match up some of its own Golden Oldies with older adopters as it reveals it can take more than three times longer to rehome a dog over the age of three than it does to rehome a puppy.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Sadly, many of our older and elderly dogs are overlooked. Puppies and dogs under a year of age seem to be rehomed much quicker and that is likely due to people’s perceptions that they are more adaptable and will fit into their lives more easily. There is often a common assumption that older dogs and those approaching, or in, their senior years will need more specialist care and will have health problems. But that isn’t always the case.
“Just like people, every dog is an individual and some of our senior pooches can be more active and playful than other younger dogs, while some are looking for a quiet, calm home where they can snooze on the sofa and potter around in a garden.
“The real message here is that we will always seek to match the right dog with the right home, and on Older People’s Day we’re trying to raise awareness of the lovely golden oldies in our care who are patiently waiting for the paw-fect home to call their own.
“Having a dog can be of great benefit to people too. They can make excellent companions and encourage people to get out for a walk which can have an impact not only on our physical health but also, as recent research has shown, helps towards our feelings of happiness.”
The RSPCA rescued 8,009 dogs last year - that’s nearly one every hour. And while it takes just over two weeks to rehome young dogs (under six months old), it takes more than three times longer to rehome dogs over three.