Forgotten animals: new figures reveal older pets wait longer in rescue


Saturday (17 August) was ‘International Homeless Animals Day’ and the RSPCA has been raising awareness for the forgotten animals left in their care. According to figures from the charity, dogs, cats and horses aged over seven years all wait longer for their new home. Younger animals are adopted quickly, making it even harder to ensure the older rescues 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 animal 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.

Equines take 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 rather than rehome an animal. Sadly it is true that older animals are waiting longer for their forever home and may be seen as less 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.”

Here are some amazing older animals in RSPCA care:



This is 13-year-old Storm an 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.

Dogs adopted from the RSPCA will be microchipped, neutered and vaccinated as well as having up-to-date flea and worming treatment. There will be ongoing support from our adoption support volunteers to come and see how you are getting on and to ask for any advice or questions if needed.


This is 11-year-old Astrid who is a very contented cat. She has been with the RSPCA for a year, and 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. This beautiful older lady would make the perfect addition to any family and they will be very lucky to have her! Astrid is currently at the RSPCA Essex South West branch.


Seventeen-year-old Prince is the most wonderful gentle giant – he stands at approx 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 stabled 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. Prince has been vaccinated for both Flu and Tetanus. His adoption fee is £200.

If you are interested in adoption please complete an online application form for RSPCA South Oxfordshire.

To see up to date information please visit


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