Inseparable Romeo and Juliet, who are nine and 11 respectively, came into the care of the RSPCA’s Lancashire East branch animal centre in Accrington in February. They’d been living in a multi-dog household where the owner was struggling to cope with numbers.
Having been together all their lives, the dogs have formed a close bond and love nothing more than spending hours playing tug of war with each other and receiving cuddles from the centre’s staff and volunteers.
But unlike their young namesakes in Shakespeare’s tragedy, the four-legged friends are now in their twilight years and the RSPCA believes their age is probably the reason they are being overlooked, despite the fact that both of them are still well and active.
“They’re both wonderful characters who are devoted to each other and they will bring so much joy to their new family”
The RSPCA is highlighting Romeo and Juliet’s story as part of its month-long Adoptober rehoming campaign which aims to shine a light on the many animals like them who are still waiting for their forever home. The charity’s national and branch centres are full as more pets come into rescue than are being adopted, with a six percent increase in dogs and a four percent rise in cats reported between 2021 and 2022.
Sue Abraham, Lancashire East Branch’s fostering co-ordinator, said, “They are the most loving and affectionate pair of dogs you could ever hope to meet, but being on the more mature side has not helped them and they are now our longest-staying dogs. Juliet likes to carry her toys around like babies, and one of their favourite pastimes is playing tug of war with each other. Romeo is a bit of a foodie and adores his treats, so we’ve had to watch his waistline a little.
“He forgets he’s not as young as he used to be and he’ll try and jump over our reception desk. Midway through his run he’ll then change his mind and he ends up with only his front paws dangling over.”
She added, “They’re both wonderful characters who are devoted to each other and they will bring so much joy to their new family. Being in kennels in their twilight years is not easy for them and they’ve been waiting for their happy ending for a long time. We’d love to see them settled in their own home and hope this appeal will help us find their perfect match.”
Romeo can be strong on the lead when out walking and can be vocal towards other dogs. This has improved thanks to the training he’s received at the centre, but his new owners will need to continue helping him with this. Juliet walks well on the lead and will go past other dogs, although she isn’t overly keen on face-to-face interaction. Like Romeo, she loves cuddles, fuss, snoozes and rolling around in the grass.
Both dogs love company, so an adult only, pet free household with people who are going to be around for a good part of the day will be ideal. For further information please visit the centre’s website or call them on 01254 231 118 (open daily between 11am and 4pm, closed Thursday).
“Just like people, every dog is an individual and some of our senior pooches can be more active and playful than other younger dogs”
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines says many of the charity’s 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,” she said. “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.”