An elderly rescue dog has spent a year in kennels as rescuers fear he is being shunned by potential adopters due to his age and health problems. Kuzey, a 10-year-old Akita cross, came into the care of the RSPCA Blackberry Animal Centre in Buckinghamshire in October 2021.
But a year on Kuzey, who is described as a “lovely gentle boy with so much love to give”, is still waiting for a home to call his own.
An RSPCA spokesperson said Kuzey “keeps being overlooked by potential families”.
The charity believes this is down to his age and health issues as he suffers from osteoarthritis in his hips and right leg.
But the golden oldie still has lots to give and enjoys going for walks, playing and being made a fuss of.
Kuzey is looking for a home where he will be the only pet but could live with older children.
His new owners will need to train him to be left in the house on his own.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “Kuzey has been waiting over a year to find his forever home – but adopters are being put off by his age and some health problems.
“He keeps being overlooked by potential families.
“He’s sweet, playful, loves gentle walks and could live with a family but would like to be the only pet.
“He has some separation anxiety so will need to learn that it’s okay being left home alone.”
It comes as the RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober campaign to promote rescue animals.
The campaign comes as the charity is taking in more animals to its shelters, up 8.4 percent year on year. But rehoming has slowed and is down eight percent.
The RSPCA fears the cost of living crisis is to blame, as well as the puppy boom during the Covid pandemic.
Pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “It’s really concerning to see that animals are staying in our care for longer and that less are being rehomed year-on-year.
“Unfortunately, we believe we’re really starting to see the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
“Many of the animals – particularly dogs – who are coming into our care have behavioural challenges which could be linked to how they were bred as well as lockdown limiting the amount of training, socialising and outside world experience they had.
“We’re also beginning to see more animals coming into our care because their owners simply couldn’t afford to care for them any more; or, in the most extreme cases, having been neglected or abandoned due to the rising cost of pet care.
“Sadly, this is coming at the same time that potential pet owners are deciding now is not the best time to take on an animal due to the soaring cost of living, and feeling they cannot financially commit to adding a pet to their family at such a worrying time.
“For those who are able to bring a pet into their home, we are urging them to really consider adopting rather than buying.
“Many of our animals will already be neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms – making it much more cost-effective – and we will work them to make sure they find their perfect match.”