Rescue dogs looking for their pawfect Valentine's Day


This Valentine's Day, we're revealing the 'most unloved' breeds of dogs who struggle to find their perfect partner.

The average time it takes to rehome a dog in our care is 38 days (from ready to rehome), but sadly for some of the animals in our care, they have to wait a little bit longer.

Our latest data shows that Rhodesian Ridgebacks have waited for the longest for their forever homes, with an average stay of 118 days, while English Bull Terrier crosses wait 97 days and American bulldogs 76 days. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most frequently seen dog breed in our care and also wait longer than average for love - 47 days. This is despite Staffies being recently voted Britain's most loved dog.

Lisa Hens, our pet welfare expert, said:

The staff who care for our animals day in and day out know just how loveable each and everyone is and how different they are from one another. But we do find that dogs of some breeds sadly take longer to find their perfect match.

This is probably due to a combination of reasons. For example, size or beliefs about particular breeds and types can stop people from even considering the possibility of adopting certain dogs. And with so many of the same type of dog in our care, it can be difficult for individuals to stand out from the crowd despite their great potential. Sadly in some cases, animals are overlooked just because of how they look.

We would urge anyone looking for a pet to do their research especially as the reputation of a particular breed or type is often undeserved. Just like people, all dogs are individuals and they should find out if they're a good match for that particular animal to see if they can offer them a loving home.

Average no. of days to find a home

  • Rhodesian Ridgeback - 118.75
  • English Bull Terrier Cross - 97.83
  • American Bulldog - 76.38
  • Bull mastiff - 65.64
  • German Shepherd Cross - 63.28
  • Saluki Cross - 60.95
  • British bulldog cross - 58.42
  • Shar-pei cross - 58.25
  • Shar-pei - 55.05
  • Boxer cross - 54.40

Smaller breeds tend to wait less time, for example, toy poodle cross dogs spend the least amount of time looking for a home. The 14 that we rehomed waited an average of ten days, while pugs wait an average of 12 days and Shih-tzu crosses 14 days.

Dogs looking for that special someone

This Valentine's Day, we're showcasing the pets in our care who've been waiting for the longest.


Blue the lurcher has been in our care for a total of 465 days and during that time has seen many of his kennel mates find their forever home at our Suffolk East and Ipswich branch.

Ben the lurcher © RSPCA

Four-year-old Blue first came into our care on May 16 2017, as his previous owner was unable to look after him. He was rehomed the following month but sadly his owners struggled to handle him as he can be strong at times so he was returned to us on November 6 2017 - where he's been waiting ever since.

Blue has been reserved once since then but sadly the adoption fell through.

Blue is a lovely calm friendly dog and absolutely loves Primula cheese (as a treat!) so any new owner will need to keep a stock of this in!

Centre manager, Zoe Barrett, said:

If you want a dog to go and sit and have a cuddle, all the staff here go and sit with Blue. He's a real favourite for all of us - we absolutely adore him and just want to see him settle into a long term home.

Blue would need to go to a home with no other pets as his chase instinct is strong - an experienced lurcher owner would be great for him.


Lively Trevor - who's at our Westmorland branch - is a dog with a great personality. He's one of our longer stay residents and is currently part of a special appeal to find him a home.

Trevor the staffy © RSPCA

The two-year-old staffordshire bull terrier is full of energy, always on the go and he just loves being with his human friends, especially when he's allowed to come up to the office and sprawl on the sofa!

Trevor is just a big softie; he's affectionate, loyal and always eager to please. He's previously lived with a youngster and two other dogs, but because of his bounciness, we're recommending a home for him with older children where he'll be the only pet.

To see all the animals we have available for rehoming visit our find a pet page.