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The 12 days of Christmas RSPCA style


RSPCA searches for homes for some of the festive pets in rescue this Christmas

Christmas is a time of love and kindness - and the RSPCA is urging animal-lovers who think they have room in their homes for a pet this festive season to consider rescuing.

The largest and oldest animal welfare charity expects to take in around 19,000 animals during the Christmas period - and has thousands more already in its care patiently waiting to find their fur-ever homes.

So, if you’re a lover of anything with paws or claws and think you’re in a position to take on a furry or feathered friend, please visit the RSPCA’s online Find A Pet search function to find your paw-fect match. And here are 12 gorgeous dogs, cats, horses - and everything in between - hoping to win your heart over this Christmas:

Snowy
Loving Snowy (pictured above) wants to be everyone's friend. The five-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier sadly looks set to spend her second Christmas at RSPCA Bath Cats and Dogs Home unless staff can find her the paw-fect family to take her home. She was taken in by the charity in December 2016 via an inspector as her owner could no longer look after her. She can be a little anxious and is looking for someone that will be around most of the time for her. She’s a clever girl who has learned basic commands and tricks from RSPCA staff - and is keen to learn more. She loves walks but can be a little strong on the lead and doesn’t get on with other dogs as she finds meeting canines stressful. She’d be best as the only pet in the home but could live with older children. For more about sweet Snowy, visit her Find A Pet profile or contact Bath Dogs and Cats Home on 01225 787321.

Rudolph

This lovely little chap may have a pink nose instead of a red nose - but he’s feeling very festive and is hoping Christmas may bring him a loving new home. Rudolph is an inquisitive one-year-old ferret at RSPCA Newport Animal Centre in Wales. He loves jumping around and playing and can be found, most of the time, climbing up and down his scratching post. Poor Rudolph was found as a stray in November and is now looking for a home to call his own. He could live with other ferrets and would be suitable for a family with children but they should be supervised when handling him. For more information about Rudolph check out his Find A Pet profile or call Newport on 0300 123 0744.

Parsnip & Sprout


This beautiful black and white pair are looking for a home together. While some people aren’t keen on their Christmas dinner vegetables, sisters Parsnip and Sprout are sure to win you over. They came into the RSPCA’s care in November as their owner could no longer copy. While they can be a little shy to start with they love the attention from people they know and will lean in for strokes. The two-year-old cats are very close and need to go to a home together. The duo could live with a friendly dog and are used to being around children so could go to a home with younger or older kids. For more information about them, please visit their online profiles or contact the RSPCA’s Southall Cattery in London, where they are being cared for, by calling 0300 123 0746.

Angel

Six-year-old rottweiler Angel suits her name - she’s a real sweetheart who loves affection and a good cuddle on the sofa. She’s a gentle girl who could happily live in a family environment with younger children. She came into RSPCA care in October after being found abandoned. Angel can find being left home alone quite stressful so will need someone who is around a lot of the time so she can slowly learn that it’s okay to be on her own for short periods of time. She is also quite forward-going on walks so will need some more lead training. She is house-trained, travels well in the car and gets on well with other dogs. To find out more about Angel, visit her Find A Pet profile or call RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre, in Chobham, Surrey, on 0300 123 0740.

Nicolas

This handsome chap is one-year-old cockerel Nicolas. He was in a bit of a flap when he was found as a stray in September, wasn’t very well and was quite underweight so was taken in and is now being looked after by staff at RSPCA Blackberry Farm in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He lives with a flock of hens at the centre and we would like to rehome them together. They will need a large secure chicken house with a nice enclosure with lots of enrichment for them to enjoy. During his time with the charity, Nicolas has put on weight and is now very happy and healthy. To find out more about our very own St Nick, please visit his online profile or call Blackberry Farm on 0300 123 0752.

Joseph

Two-year-old cob Joseph was rescued by the RSPCA last December - just before Christmas. That means the 12hh pony is preparing to spend his second Christmas with the charity. He had sadly been abandoned in a field. He was underweight, covered in lice and seemed unhandleable. He’s coming on leaps and bounds thanks to lots of TLC from staff and is now easy to catch, lead in and will stand calmly for the vet and farrier. He’s feeling festive this winter (pictured with Photoshopped Santa hat as ponies don’t like to dress up!) and is desperate to find a home of his own for Christmas. If you would like to know more about him please see his Find A Pet profile or call the northern equine rehoming officer Jacqui on 07825 158255.

Dasher, Donner, Prancer, Rudolph & Blitzen

These adorable baby bunnies are so desperate to find their forever homes in time for Christmas that they’ve been given very festive names to help them win over a family in the run-up to December 25. The litter-mates were rescued after they were found abandoned underneath a shed in November. The bunnies love to run around and explore so would like large enclosures in their new homes as well as a bunny friend to keep them company - some could be rehomed together in pairs. While they are all already quite affectionate and are getting used to being handled, they will also all benefit from lots of human interaction as they get older. While they have been at the RSPCA each of these gorgeous rabbits have really grown and have become the loving bundles of fluff that they are. For more information about Dasher and his friends please visit Find A Pet or contact RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Centre in Buckinghamshire on 0300 123 0752.

Elsa

Children love Frozen character Elsa and this little Russian hamster shares some similarities with the Disney princess - including her beautiful white hair! This older hamster is currently being cared for by staff at the RSPCA Northamptonshire branch’s Brixworth site. She was taken in in February from another charity which was struggling to rehome her. She’s between six and 12 months old and is hoping to find a fur-ever home to call her own. Hamsters can make wonderful family pets especially for older children who are around more in the evening/night time when hamsters are most active but they have quite complex needs so make sure you do your research before taking one on. For more information about Elsa see her online profile or call the branch directly on 01604 881317.

Frosty, River & Snowdrop

This trio of adorable rodents are one-year-old rat friends Frosty, River and Snowdrop. They were brought into the RSPCA in September by an inspector over concerns for their welfare. They’re a group of sweet, friendly rats who would like to be rehomed together. They can be a little shy to begin with but, once they get to know you, become quite confident and inquisitive - and staff at RSPCA Cornwall branch’s William & Patricia Venton Animal Centre have come to know them well. With a bit of time and patience, they will become your best, furry friends. For more about this trio, visit their Find A Pet profiles or contact the branch on 01637 881455.

Holly

This pretty puss is Holly and she’s looking for a purr-fect home for Christmas. Poor Holly - who has her special Christmas collar on here - was abandoned in London this month - just weeks before Christmas. She’s now being looked after by staff at RSPCA London East branch who say she is a lovely cat who is very friendly. The 18-month-old feline would love to be settled in a new home in time for the festive season and would be happy living with other cats, with dogs and as part of a family with children. She’s a very happy cat who just wants to be loved! To find out more about Holly please visit the branch’s Find A Pet pages or contact them on 07876 753228.

Noel

Handsome Noel may only have one eye but it’s fixed on finding a home in time for Christmas. This lovely three-year-old puss has even donned his best bow tie to try to win over a new owner. He’s very friendly with the loudest purr you’ve ever heard. Sadly, he ended up at the RSPCA’s Northamptonshire branch as an injured stray and vets had to remove his eye after it got a grass seed lodged inside. He’s adapted well to life as a pirate and is now ready for a home of his own. He loves food, loves a tummy tickle and lots of attention. To find out more about him, please visit his online profile or contact 01604 881317.

Vixen

Vixen is a young ferret who is feeling a little lonely in RSPCA care. Her friends Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are all busy with official Christmas duties in the run-up to December 25 and she is just hoping she’ll have a new home in time for Santa’s visit. She is thought to be around six months to a year old and is an inquisitive girl who likes to explore and snooze. She came into the centre in November as a stray. She’s very active and will benefit from an experienced owner who can continue to socialise her with other ferret friends. To find out more about this sweet girl, visit her Find A Pet page or call RSPCA Newport Animal Centre on 0300 123 0744.

Find each other

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “We have so many amazing animals who will sadly be spending their Christmas in our centres this year. While our staff and volunteers do all they can to make sure they’re all healthy, happy and get lots of TLC we know they’ll all be much better off in loving homes of their own.

“Taking on an animal is a huge responsibility but we would encourage anybody who is considering getting a pet to go to their local RSPCA rescue centre or visit our website to browse those cats, dogs, rabbits, horses and even snakes looking for new homes! It’s so rewarding to give a previously mistreated or abandoned animal a chance at a happy life.

“We would, however, urge anyone thinking of getting a pet - whatever the time of year - to consider the costs and long-term commitment associated with caring for an animal. And we certainly wouldn’t advise giving pets as presents as the main care-giver must be prepared to look after him or her for the rest of their life.

“While Christmas for some can be the ideal time to introduce a new animal into the home, for others it might be better to wait for a quieter time of year. So before taking on a pet please do take everything into consideration and have a think about when might be the best time to bring a new furry friend home. And remember, staff at our centres are always happy to help so please pop along and ask them as many questions as you have!”

The RSPCA receive around 2,000 calls every day during the winter months and is expecting to rescue around 19,000 animals over the festive period. To help the charity rescue, rehabilitate and rehome these animals please support the Kindness at Christmas campaign and donate by visiting: www.rspca.org.uk/winterappeal.

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