In February, Hattie the Cocker Spaniel stole the hearts of MyLondon readers after waiting for more than 500 days at RSPCA Southridge to find a new owner. Last week, there was good news: Hattie has been successfully rehomed with a new family.
But Hattie’s neighbour Jake is still searching for a home. Following Hattie’s departure, nine-year-old Jake has taken her title as the longest-standing resident at the animal centre.
Since MyLondon’s article was published, Jake has had a couple of applications from new owners, which unfortunately did not work out. For Jake, who the RSPCA say is “desperate to get out of kennels”, the search for his “forever home” continues.
READ MORE: London’s loneliest dog has finally found a home after 500 days in rescue centre
Jake the German Shepherd arrived at RSPCA Southridge in November 2020 after a change in his owner’s circumstances meant that they could no longer care for him. “We don’t know why he came to us and what the circumstances were – it could be anything,” says Animal Care Assistant Cathie Ward.
Jake has watched as his other long-standing neighbours were rehomed. First was Izzi, a young crossbreed who overlapped with Jake for a year and was adopted in February. Next, of course, was Hattie.
“He’s coping well enough in kennels, but it’s obviously not the same as being in a home,” says Cathie. He does like being around people and he gets very excited to see you in the morning. He’s a good boy.”
During his 16-month stay, Jake has warmed the hearts of the staff at the centre, who have got to know him well. “He can be wary of new people if he doesn’t know them – it does take him a while sometimes, so you need careful introductions,” says Cathie. “Once you know him, he’s a soppy boy. He’s lovely – he loves a cuddle, loves a scratch, loves a stroke. He’s really good to walk…he always listens to you.”
Jake can be nervous of other dogs, Cathie explains. His ideal home, therefore, would be with an experienced, adult owner where he would be the only pet in the house. Jake needs space, and, the centre advise, would benefit from training classes to help him socialise with other dogs.
According to Cathie, it’s Jake’s additional needs, combined with his age, that have kept him at the centre for so long. “Nine is old for a dog, and people are concerned about how long they’re doing to have with them,” she says. “With us here, we think differently: we love the oldies [being rehomed] because it gives them that nice, loving home, even if they’ve only got a couple of years with them…That’s quite rewarding in my eyes.”
She adds: “He’s a lovely boy – really affectionate…He likes to sit on the benches or the sofa with you. He’s a good boy and he’d be lovely in the home. He’s a lovely companion, but again, he’s looking for experienced owners who are happy to take on any existing traits.”
In any case, Southridge Animal Centre will be sad to see him go when Jake’s “forever home” finally comes. “It’s bittersweet. Obviously, we form attachments to them, we bond with them,” says Cathie. “It’s hard. But at the same time, seeing them rehomed, especially the long-stay ones or the oldies…we’re always ecstatic when they go off.”
Southridge Animal Centre is the RSPCA’s closest rescue centre to London, rehoming pets in the capital and further afield.
Could you be Jake’s new owner? Contact Southridge Animal Centre for more information.
Do you have a story you think we should be covering? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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