DOG lovers are being urged to adopt a golden oldie instead of buying a puppy.
Searches for buying a puppy increased by more than 200 per cent after lockdown began last March compared to the previous 12 months.
And Dogs Trust Kenilworth is asking people to remember when it comes to giving a rescue dog a second chance, older dogs need homes too – and have lots to offer.
One older dog at the centre is 12-year-old collie cross Cassie.
She was first rehomed by the charity when she was a puppy but more than 11 years later has found herself in need of a new home after her owners passed away.
Manager Emma-Jane Thomas said: “Cassie is a beautiful, sweet, spritely girl who still loves to chase a tennis ball.
“She has found it difficult to adjust to coming into kennels after such a long time in a loving home, but we are making sure she has lots of one-to-one time with people. As an older girl she is looking for a quiet home with no children or pets so she can relax and easily settle into family life again.”
Recently the charity has seen a surge in people looking to adopt a pup under six months old. It says nearly no one has been interested in its older dogs.
Emma-Jane added: “At the moment, 20 per cent of our dogs that are ready to find forever homes are aged eight or over. In the last year so many people have wanted to welcome a puppy into their family, but older dogs like Cassie make fantastic companions too.
“Older dogs are often calmer and less energetic, so although they may still be playful, like Cassie, hiking up hills may be a thing of the past for them, which suits some owners, young and old.
“Also with an older dog, what you see is what you get in terms of personality and size and although you can certainly teach an older dog new tricks, they usually know the training basics and have experienced many things in their lives, so as long as they have had positive experiences, they will take things in their stride.
“Helping an older dog like Cassie enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live their best life is incredibly rewarding. We would urge anyone looking to welcome a dog into their life to consider giving a golden oldie their forever home where they can relax and rest their paws in their twilight years.”
Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/olddogs for more information.