As demand for puppies soars, Dogs Trust urges people to give old dogs new digs

Date published: 04 May 2021

Since lockdown began, demand for puppies has soared and families have welcomed the pitter patter of tiny paws into their homes.

But Dogs Trust Manchester is urging dog lovers who are thinking of welcoming a four-legged friend into their life, to consider giving a golden oldie their perfect retirement home. 

Google searches for buying a puppy increased by a huge 213% compared to the previous 12 months after lockdown began in March last year.

Now Dogs Trust is asking people to remember that when it comes to giving a rescue dog a second chance, older dogs need new homes too – and have lots to offer. 

One such dog is 13-year-old Terrier, Paddy, who was adopted from Dogs Trust Manchester by 101-year-old Marjorie Rigby shortly before lockdown began.

Now, Marjorie and her daughter, Angela, say they don’t know what they’d have done without him as Marjorie hasn’t been able to leave their home since the start of the pandemic. 

Angela, who lives in Tameside with Marjorie, said: “Adopting Paddy is the best thing we have ever done. 

"Of course, when we adopted him we didn’t know what we were going to be facing, but I don’t know how we’d have got through lockdown without him.

"He has been absolutely wonderful company, such a comfort. 

“We have taught him some new things so now he knows how to give us his paw and  to sit and stay, and he also plays fetch which is lovely.

"When he first came to live  with us, once he had a toy it was his for keeps! 

“I would encourage anyone thinking of adopting a dog to consider an older dog.  

"Paddy makes us so happy and seeing him happy is fantastic.”  

In the nine months up to the end of March this year, almost 50% of people looking to adopt a dog from Dogs Trust were looking for a four-legged friend under six months, compared to 5% looking for a dog aged 8 or over.  

Dawn Bishop, Dogs Trust Manchester Manager, said: “In the last year so many people have wanted to welcome a puppy into their family, but just like Paddy has proven, older dogs make fantastic companions too. 

"Currently around 30% of the dogs here at Dogs Trust Manchester that are ready to find their forever homes are over eight and we would love to find them their perfect families. 

“Older dogs are often calmer and less energetic so although they may still be playful and enjoy a stroll in the park, 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 both 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 enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live their best life is incredibly rewarding.

"Owners like Marjorie and Angela always tell us that the feeling you get from seeing them safe, warm, happy and enjoying an afternoon snooze snuggled up on the sofa is something that can’t be beaten.” 

Dogs Trust is working to change the tale for older dogs who find themselves without a forever home.

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