'Relay' to transport long-stay dog to new home in lockdown

'Relay' to transport long-stay dog to new home in lockdown

A group of our officers and volunteers set up a relay run covering 270 miles to transport a long-stay dog to his paw-fect home.

Great Dane cross Pedro in RSPCA van © RSPCAGreat Dane cross Pedro, eight, had been waiting for more than 200 days to find a new home but potential adopters were put off by his senior years and his huge size.

Our inspector Pamela Bird rescued Pedro in June 2020, when his owner could no longer take care of him. He was taken into our Southport, Ormskirk and District branch, in Merseyside, where, unfortunately, he had little interest. So when the perfect home came up and a couple in Weymouth, Dorset - with experience with large breeds - fell in love with Pedro his carers didn't want geography to stand in the way of his happy ever after.

Pamela said:

"Pedro had been waiting so long for the right home but potential adopters were struggling to look past his twilight years and his sheer size! He'd been becoming more sad and lonely as time went on and everyone was desperate to find him a forever home. So when this couple got in touch and were the perfect match for him we knew we had to make it work; we didn't know when he'd get another home that would be such a good fit for him."

She added:

Lockdown rules meant we were restricted to delivering pets to new homes in the local area only so we knew we'd have to come up with a complex plan to get Pedro to Weymouth. 

Thankfully we managed to pull together five parties - including inspectors, another animal centre, and a volunteer driver - who were willing to work together to get Pedro home. We set up a relay and all had our own leg to run!

Pamela was up first, collecting Pedro from the animal centre on 20 January and driving him 100 miles to our Birmingham Animal Centre where he spent the night. 

She said:

"The staff at Birmingham really loved him and gave him lots of TLC during his short stay, which also broke the journey up for him."

The following morning (21 January), Pedro joined regional volunteer driver Mark for the next leg to Bristol, 80 miles away. Our local animal rescue officer, Dan Hatfield, met the pair in Bristol and took Pedro on the final leg of his journey, to his new owners in Weymouth. 

Gentle 'softie' Pedro has lots of love to give

Rescue dog Pedro in new home © RSPCANew owner, Peter Kerr, said:

"Pedro is getting on really well; he's full of life and, after only a couple of days, it seems like he's been with us forever! He's a great big softie and has lots of love to give. He is very gentle. He loves his food and he loves playing in the garden."

We've seen a huge surge in interest in rehoming dogs - and other pets - during lockdown and been working tirelessly to continue rehoming during the pandemic, while still adhering to Government guidelines.

While our centres remain closed to the public, staff have been processing applications, organising virtual home checks and meet-and-greets, and delivering animals to their new homes.