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Big dogs harder to rehome than smaller breeds, says RSPCA
Nina, a five-year-old mastiff, is one of the large dogs the charity is struggling to rehome.
It can take almost twice as long to find larger breeds a home.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has highlighted statistics revealing the difficulty with rehoming large dog breeds.

Figures shared by the animal welfare charity showed that large-sized dogs can take an average of 60 days to rehome after they arrive at the shelter. This compares with 39 days for medium-sized dogs, and 33 days for small dogs.

The most challenging breed for the RSPCA proved to be the Alaskan malamute, with this large breed averaging 257 days in the shelter. This was followed by the Saluki, averaging 115 days, and the medium-sized breed Tibetan terrier, averaging 107 days.

Due to the difficulty with rehoming large breeds, some of the RSPCA’s long-stay residents are big dogs.

One such dog is Big Moose, a five-year-old mastiff weighing more than 60kg. Big Moose was brought into the RSPCA shelter Stubbington Ark, in Hampshire, in July 2022 and has now been waiting for a home for 21 months.

Volunteers at the shelter describe him as a ‘gentle giant’ with a ‘sweet nature’.

However, Big Moose’s sensitive nature means he does require extra care. His nervous behaviour and love of chasing means that he needs owners who can handle his temperament, and control him on a lead in public.

Although the RSPCA encourages pet owners to consider all breed sizes when adopting a pet, it also urges potential owners to think carefully before adopting a large-size dog.

Esme Wheeler, an RSPCA dog welfare expert and clinical animal behaviourist, said: “At the RSPCA we love all creatures, great and small. And as a nation of dog lovers, we all adore our dog pals whether they’re as big as a horse or as small as a guinea pig!

“But there can be some differences between taking care of gentle giants and cheeky miniatures when it comes to their day-to-day needs - so it’s important to take time as a family to consider what type and size of dog might suit your lifestyle, and what costs will be associated with their care.”

Image © RSPCA/Vision Media

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.