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RSPCA reveals lockdown longstays who have spent YEARS waiting to be adopted 

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Rescue centres across the country saw unprecedented levels of interest in rehoming rescue dogs during lockdown. 

Despite the increase, many of our four-legged friends weren’t lucky enough to be chosen and have remained in rescue centres for years, with some pups spending their entire lives in shelters. 

In a bid to find these animals a new home, the RSPCA shared with FEMAIL some of the UK’s unluckiest dogs who, for various reasons, have continually been overlooked by potential owners. 

The dogs include a four-year-old lurcher who has spent almost her entire life in kennels after being picked up from the streets of Bath, while another was left tied to a gate in Leeds in August last year. 

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: ‘It’s been incredible to see so many dogs going off to start new lives despite the challenges that the pandemic have presented for us; and rehoming has really been hugely successful during lockdown. 

‘But, sadly, there are still some dogs who have been overlooked time and time again either due to their colour, their age, their specific needs or simply because lockdown restrictions made it almost impossible for potential owners to meet them and fall in love.’   

Could you give one of these dogs a living home? Here are the unlucky pups who could become part of your family.

SUE: FOUR YEARS 

Four-year-old lurcher Sue was rescued as a stray from the streets of Bath and has spent almost her entire life in kennels

She's been at the RSPCA's Bath Cats & Dogs Home for four years - excluding a short stint where she was adopted, but Sue was returned when her new owners circumstances changed

She’s been at the RSPCA’s Bath Cats & Dogs Home for four years – excluding a short stint where she was adopted, but Sue was returned when her new owners circumstances changed

Four-year-old lurcher Sue was rescued as a stray from the streets of Bath and has spent almost her entire life in kennels. 

She’s been at the RSPCA’s Bath Cats & Dogs Home for four years – excluding a short stint where she was adopted, but Sue was returned when her new owners circumstances changed.

Staff are desperate to find Sue her forever home, having seen 941 other dogs be adopted in the time she’s been living at the kennel. 

Staff believe she may be overlooked due to her brindle colouring and some challenging behaviours – including becoming overwhelmed by other dogs. 

Staff believe she may be overlooked due to her brindle colouring and some challenging behaviours - including becoming overwhelmed by other dogs

Staff believe she may be overlooked due to her brindle colouring and some challenging behaviours – including becoming overwhelmed by other dogs

Staff are desperate to rehome Sue, who needs experienced owners who can commit to continuing her training in the home

Staff are desperate to rehome Sue, who needs experienced owners who can commit to continuing her training in the home

They say she needs experienced owners who can commit to continuing her training in the home.

Chief executive Rachel Jones said: ‘Sue is a sweet and clever pup who can get a little overexcited at times so would benefit from owners who can continue her training.

‘She walks nicely on the lead and would like an active home where she can enjoy going out for regular, long walks. 

‘She is very affectionate and loves to curl up on the sofa with you as well as get involved in a good game with her toys! She loves to meet new pals but would be best as the only pet in the home and we think she’d suit an adult-only home.’

HECTOR: 13 MONTHS 

American bulldog Hector was taken in by the RSPCA's Leeds, Wakefield & District branch after he was tied to the gate outside in August last year

American bulldog Hector was taken in by the RSPCA’s Leeds, Wakefield & District branch after he was tied to the gate outside in August last year

CCTV captured the moment the owner pulled up, abandoned him and drove off. He was left terrified after being tied up with a heavy chain and large muzzle

CCTV captured the moment the owner pulled up, abandoned him and drove off. He was left terrified after being tied up with a heavy chain and large muzzle

American bulldog Hector was taken in by the RSPCA’s Leeds, Wakefield & District branch after he was tied to the gate outside in August last year. 

CCTV captured the moment the owner pulled up, abandoned him and drove off. He was left terrified after being tied up with a heavy chain and large muzzle.  

Staff soon discovered the young dog only understood German commands and set about teaching him English.

Hector is a wary dog who takes a while to trust you and will need to meet you on numerous occasions before you adopt him. Ideally he’d like a rural home. 

Branch administrator Gena Cameron said: ‘Hector’s a big baby really; he loves to gallop around the paddock and play with his giant tennis balls. He’s so lovable and is such a gentle giant. 

Hector is a wary dog who takes a while to trust you and will need to meet you on numerous occasions before you adopt him

Staff are keen to see Hector sent to a rural home

Hector is a wary dog who takes a while to trust you and will need to meet you on numerous occasions before you adopt him. Ideally he’d like a rural home

Branch administrator Gena Cameron said: 'Hector's a big baby really; he loves to gallop around the paddock and play with his giant tennis balls. He's so lovable and is such a gentle giant'

Branch administrator Gena Cameron said: ‘Hector’s a big baby really; he loves to gallop around the paddock and play with his giant tennis balls. He’s so lovable and is such a gentle giant’ 

‘He’s very clever and loves treats so is easy to train; especially now he understands us! We all absolutely love him but want to find him his forever home after he’s spent over a year with us.

‘He’d like a calm, quiet home with owners who are experienced with large breeds. He can get upset being left alone so his new owners will need to slowly introduce him to being left at home and he’d also benefit from more socialisation with other dogs. 

‘He loves nothing more than a good game of ball and then a relaxing cuddle and tummy scratch in his kennel or a delicious chew to gnaw on.’  

ARIEL AND ATTINA: 2 YEARS  

Belgian Malinois sisters Ariel (pictured) and Attina were rescued by the RSPCA with a large number of dogs in 2019.  Ariel needs a quiet home in a rural setting, with patient owners who can help her adapt to her new way of life.

Belgian Malinois sisters Ariel (pictured) and Attina were rescued by the RSPCA with a large number of dogs in 2019.  Ariel needs a quiet home in a rural setting, with patient owners who can help her adapt to her new way of life.

Attina is nervous with strangers and has had little experience of the outside world. She takes a while to form strong bonds with people, but once she trusts you is loyal and intelligent dog

Attina is nervous with strangers and has had little experience of the outside world. She takes a while to form strong bonds with people, but once she trusts you is loyal and intelligent dog

Belgian Malinois sisters Ariel and Attina were rescued by the RSPCA with a large number of dogs after being found living in unsuitable conditions in the West Midlands in October 2019. 

The two-year-old dogs have been in the care of Blackberry Farm Animal Centre, in Buckinghamshire, for almost two years and have seen 64 of their friends be adopted before them. 

Ariel needs a quiet home in a rural setting, with patient owners who can help her adapt to her new way of life. 

The animal can be intimidated by new things to start with but is slowly learning to adapt and once she knows you is incredibly affectionate and loyal.  

Ariel can be intimidated by new things to start with but is slowly learning to adapt and once she knows you is incredibly affectionate and loyal

Ariel can be intimidated by new things to start with but is slowly learning to adapt and once she knows you is incredibly affectionate and loyal

Staff are keen to find Attia a home with experienced owners who can help build up her confidence

Staff are keen to find Attia a home with experienced owners who can help build up her confidence

Attina is also nervous with strangers and has had little experience of the outside world. She takes a while to form  strong bonds with people, but once she trusts you is loyal and intelligent dog. 

Staff are keen to find her a home with experienced owners who can help build up Attina’s confidence.  

Alicia Hawkins, who has helped to take care of the pair, said: ‘Ariel and Attina are very intelligent and active dogs who will need owners with experience with the Malinois breed who can keep them physically and mentally stimulated. 

‘We rescued them when they were tiny puppies so they’ve spent their whole lives with us at the RSPCA.’ 

ALFIE: 3.5 YEARS 

Lurcher Alfie (pictured with volunteer Julie) was rescued by RSPCA inspectors as part of an investigation just before Christmas in 2017 and has been in the charity's care for three and a half years

Lurcher Alfie (pictured with volunteer Julie) was rescued by RSPCA inspectors as part of an investigation just before Christmas in 2017 and has been in the charity’s care for three and a half years

Lurcher Alfie was rescued by RSPCA inspectors as part of an investigation just before Christmas in 2017 and has been in the charity’s care for three and a half years. 

He is currently being looked after by staff at Southridge Animal Centre, in Hertfordshire , but hasn’t managed to find his forever home yet, having to watch many of his friends snapped up while he waits.  

Manager Anna White said: ‘Sadly, Alfie is a first-class victim of Covid. He became available for rehoming just before the country was plunged into lockdown and that meant we had to close our doors to the public to adhere to the restrictions. 

‘If someone came in looking for a dog they’d be sure to fall in love with him as he’s such a lovely boy when you meet him but, sadly, we just find he’s constantly overlooked online and we have almost no enquiries about him.

‘He absolutely loves people and enjoys going for long walks, playing with his toys, splashing in water, and relaxing with a good back scratch. 

‘He’s not the easiest of dogs and we need to find him the right home with experienced, sensible owners and a large, secure garden where he can run free. He needs an adult home where he’ll be the only pet too.’

ERIC: 2 YEARS

Dutch herder Eric was another dog rescued from filthy conditions in the West Midlands in October 2019. He can be nervous around new people and places so is looking for a rural home with patient, understanding owners who can slowly introduce him to his new surroundings

Dutch herder Eric was another dog rescued from filthy conditions in the West Midlands in October 2019. He can be nervous around new people and places so is looking for a rural home with patient, understanding owners who can slowly introduce him to his new surroundings 

Dutch herder Eric was another dog rescued from filthy conditions in the West Midlands in October 2019. 

Eric can be nervous around new people and places so is looking for a rural home with patient, understanding owners who can slowly introduce him to his new surroundings. 

Animal care assistant Gabriela Jurasekova has been taking care of Eric and said that the animal is an example of what happens to a dog when they miss out of crucial experiences in early life.   

‘He is looking for an experienced owner who can give him the guidance and reassurance he needs as he navigates life in a home.

Animal care assistant Gabriela Jurasekova (pictured)  has been taking care of Eric and said that the animal is an example of what happens to a dog when they miss out of crucial experiences in early life

Animal care assistant Gabriela Jurasekova (pictured)  has been taking care of Eric and said that the animal is an example of what happens to a dog when they miss out of crucial experiences in early life

‘He’s still a puppy at heart and can be a little nervous of strangers but, once he knows you, wants to be your best friend. 

‘He has lots of energy and would benefit from a home where he’ll get lots of long walks and some training where he can channel his intelligence. 

‘He absolutely loves being tucked up into his bed at the end of the day and cuddling up to his favourite toy on the sofa. 

‘He’s also obsessed with boxes and loves to open them and find out what’s inside so we desperately hope we can find him the perfect home just in time for Christmas so he can enjoy unwrapping his special presents under the tree.’C

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