Seeking a home: the dog who has spent four years in RSPCA kennels


The RSPCA is looking for a very special home for a dog who has spent almost her entire life in kennels.

Four-year-old Mia – a Dutch Shepherd, also known as a Dutch Herder – was rescued by RSPCA Inspectors and taken into the charity’s care in October 2019. She was just nine days old, and was found with her mum being kept in extremely poor conditions.

Claire Hoffman takes care of Mia at the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, in Hertfordshire, and said,“Sadly, as Mia was just a tiny puppy when she came to us, she’s spent almost her entire life in kennels.”

While Mia wasn’t made available for rehoming until November 2022, she’s now spent a total of four years and four months in RSPCA care – that’s more than 32 years in dog years! She was initially in a foster home as a tiny puppy and also spent many months in kennels working with staff on a training plan, before beginning her search for a new home. Sadly, since she first arrived at the RSPCA, she’s seen 1,596 of her furry and feathered friends at Southridge go off to their new homes, including 400 dogs.

“What she really needs now is an owner who can give her the one-to-one time and attention she deserves”

Claire added, “She had such a challenging start to life and, despite her early experience of awful living conditions, we’ve shown her as much love as we can and she’s grown into a really lovely dog. But living in kennels for such a long time is no life for a dog like her and we believe she may, sadly, be the RSPCA’s longest staying resident.

“What she really needs now is an owner who can give her the one-to-one time and attention she deserves, and can help her adapt to life in a home.”

Mia is intelligent and active but can also get a bit over-excited at times. She’s very loving and affectionate and is looking for ‘her person’.

“She spent some time with a fosterer while her case was being investigated but then came back to us and has since spent almost three years in our kennels,” Claire added. “While we do everything we can to create a wonderful temporary home for her, we’re desperate to find her a home to call her own.”

Mia can be unsure around new people so any potential adopters will need to visit her at Southridge several times to build up a bond with her and get to know her. Ideally, someone with an interest in dog behaviour and training would really suit Mia, as she is an interesting and very rewarding dog to work with.

Claire added, “Mia is full of energy and very bright and creative; and she has so much potential! She is keen to learn and will make a wonderful companion for the right owner.

“She needs someone who is experienced with dogs and can dedicate time to her training, and we believe she’s best suited to an adult home where there won’t be any children visiting and where she’ll also be the only pet. We’d really like her to have a secure garden where she can play with her football and enjoy roaming.

“Mia loves to use her brain and can learn lots of tricks and games, so we’d love her to be able to do fun training and try new things in her new home. She also needs time to switch off and relax so we believe she’d benefit from having somewhere calm and quiet in her new home.

“The RSPCA turns 200 this year – and it would be an amazing moment to celebrate if we can finally find Mia the loving new home she deserves.”

Find out more about Mia on her online profile or contact the centre by emailing or calling 0300 123 0704.

Staff looking after Mia have spent lots of time getting her used to normal everyday experiences like walking in busier areas and taking her for short car journeys – but the staff who know her best think she’d be best in a quiet, semi-rural home.

Mia is muzzle-trained and is used to wearing her muzzle when she’s walked on the lead but she enjoys time off-lead without the muzzle on too. Staff believe she’d benefit from continuing to use her muzzle in her new home but feel she could be without it in the future.

Claire added, “She’s such a pretty, friendly dog with so much love to give; I can’t understand why no one is even asking about her. We’ve had no interest in her for well over a year.”

Find out more about Mia on her online profile or contact the centre by emailing or calling 0300 123 0704.

This is a guest post by the RSPCA. Want to write for us? Visit or email


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