As the old saying goes, a pet is for life not just for Christmas.
But as it is the season of giving, many of us are thinking of what we can do to support others in our community and how we can support local charities and animal homes.
Rescue centres say it’s not unusual at this time of year to see “an increase in the amount of dogs and cats [and other pets] being given up for re-homing to make way for the Christmas puppy or kitten”.
This means that often pets already in rescue centres are “overlooked” and “forgotten about”.
This Christmas, local pet homes are urging the public to consider sponsoring, adopting or supporting pets that are in need of forever homes.
Could you give these lovely animals a forever home?
Please note, many local animal homes are temporarily closed to the public due to the pandemic.
Please call or email the animal home if you are interested in sponsoring, adopting or supporting them.
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Gables Dogs & Cats Home
Anyone over the age of 21 can adopt an animal from Gables Dogs and Cats Home and staff will help match prospective owners with the right animal.
Due to the pandemic, the usual adoption process has had to be adapted.
Gables staff will then contact you to discuss the pet you’re interested in, and ultimately arrange an appointment for you to visit the Home and meet the animal.
All pets at Gables are health checked by a vet and are neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms and microchipped and registered before they are rehomed.
The fee to adopt a dog is £115 for a cross breed dog and £155 for a cross breed puppy. Pedigree prices vary.
The fee to adopt a cat is £60 for a cross breed cat and £65 for a cross breed kitten. Pedigree prices vary.
Kevin is a one-year-old crossbreed dog who was taken to Gables because he was no longer wanted.
He is looking for an adults-only with no other dogs or cats.
His heartbreaking story, as reported on the Gables website, reads: “My life has been full of hardship and difficulties. My first owners wanted to train me as a gundog but I wasn’t very good, can you believe they actually threatened to shoot me!
“Thankfully I was saved by a farmer before this could happen but I was rehomed to a family after I was attacked by a large dog leaving me worried about meeting any dog. After already having been through a lot of upheaval and trauma I found family life very tricky and I didn’t take well to the small children which is when I was brought to Gables.
“Despite such a hard start I think I have been a very lucky boy to be given another amazing chance at happiness. Potential adopters will need to have owned sighthounds in the past and have experience in owning an under socialised dog as after my bad experience I am not comfortable around other dogs
“To keep me safe and out of trouble I will need to be kept on the lead and muzzled in public for the rest of my life. I am quite happy with this as I feel very safe when I am on the lead and close to my handler.
“I am an affectionate chap, but I prefer to give cuddles on my terms. I love playing with toys and I am really good at playing fetch! I am motivated by food too so with some time and patience I should be able to learn some new skills.”
Ceejay is a three-year-old male west highland terrier.
He was taken to Gables after his owner died and cannot be rehomed to the area of Whitleigh, as this is where he is from.
He is looking for an adults-only home with no other dogs or cats.
On Gables’ website ‘Ceejay’ says: “My life has been turned upside-down after the sad passing of my favourite human. It’s taken me a little time to adjust to my new surroundings as this is all new to me.
“I’m going to be up front and honest with you as I feel this is the right thing to do. I have some issues and this means that I am looking for a very specific kind of person, or people, who can help me.
“I am often uncomfortable with formal handling which means I don’t like being examined by the vet and I’m not comfortable wearing a harness so I may growl if you touch me in a place that I don’t like. Putting that aside I am quite an affectionate little chap and I will rub myself against people I know to get fuss and attention.
“I’m also a very playful boy and I think toys are just the most amazing things in existence but because of this I won’t let you take them off me. Definitely not! The same goes for really delicious food items. I can be quite unfriendly if I’m challenged for either of these so I’m looking for caregivers who have dealt with resource guarding in the past and are able to help me in a positive way.
“I enjoy getting out for a walk, I prefer to walk in quiet places as I don’t like other dogs, when I see one I will shout at them to make them go away. I think the moors would be a great place for us to spend some quality time together without interruptions.”
John Boy is an 11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier cross. He was brought to Gables as he was no longer wanted.
He is looking for a home with no other dogs, cats, birds or small animals.
He is suitable to live with a family with older children (age 13+).
On Gables’ website ‘John Boy’ says: “Hi there, I’m John Boy. Sadly I have had a lot of upheaval in the last few months and as a result of this I have found it difficult to settle. I have travelled a long way and lost the comfort and familiarity of everything I knew.
“Unsurprisingly this has left me with some anxieties, the most prevalent is that I panic when I think I’m going to be left on my own. I will do what I think it takes to stop anyone leaving me behind, so I would love to meet someone who has dealt with similar issues and can not only help me learn how to cope on my own when needed but someone who can be with me at all times until I am ready to spend some time by myself.
“I promise you that I’m a really sweet and affectionate chap. I enjoy fuss and attention from people I know but I may be a little shy when I meet someone new. Despite being an older gent at 11 years old I’m still playful and I love nothing more than to throw some toys around for myself.
“I am highly motivated by food and this is the best way to train me. I can sit when I am asked but I really would love to learn some new things as training is very stimulating and rewarding even for us older dogs. One thing you must know is that I don’t share food and I’m not afraid to let you know it. For this reason my new owners will need experience with resource guarding behaviour to prevent accidents in the future.”
Bluey is a nine-year-old female domestic short-haired cat and was brought to Gables and she was no longer wanted.
She is looking for a home with no other cats or dogs and is suitable to live with a family with older children (aged 13+).
Bluey is looking for a “quiet and experienced home” so she can properly relax, with no other cats in the neighbourhood.
She is looking for a home close to Gables, with someone who has experience with regular medication and skin issues.
Pounce is a five-year-old male domestic short-haired cat and came to Gables from the RSPCA.
He is looking for an adults-only home with no other pets.
The Gables website says: “I am looking for a home with an experienced cat owner as I have been unpredictable in my previous home. I am looking for a safe rural location.”
Gypsy is a three-year-old female domestic short-haired cat who is tabby-coloured with a white chest and white toes.
She is suitable to live with a family with older children (aged 13+) but is looking to be the only cat in the home.
She is looking for a home in a rural location, with places to climb.
She is quite the independent young lady, Gables staff say.
Woodside Animal Welfare Trust (Plymouth)
Staff at Woodside say they have an array of cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and rodents all looking for good homes.
All pets are vaccinated, neutered, ID-chipped, flea-treated and wormed before being re-homed.
Adoption prices for kittens under the age of 14 weeks range from £85 to £100 each or £160-£180 for two, and cats are £70 for one cat over the age of 14 weeks or £110 for two.
Dogs over six months are between £130 and £400 while dogs under six months are £180 to £350.
For a full list of pets up for adoption at Woodside, click here.
Chilli is a nine-year-old Husky cross German Shepherd cross Collie.
She has a “beautiful nature” and is looking for her forever retirement home, Woodside staff say.
Chilli is easy-going and leads a pretty chilled-out life. She will go on walks, but can be very stubborn if she doesn’t want to go!
She can live with children aged 10+ but cannot live with other dogs.
Bear is looking for a home with a large garden. He is good in the car and housetrained an can be left for a few hours, Woodside staff say.
He is a thirteen-year-old Malamute cross Akita and is a “huge ball of fluff”.
He is a big boy, loves cuddles and can live with children aged 10+
Loki is seven-years-old and has been at Woodside for around 18 months. He is looking for a home with no children and no other animals.
He is a beautiful dog but can be stubborn, staff say, and would be best suited to a rural area.
Callie is a female champagne-coloured four-year-old cat.
She is house-trained and is friendly ‘on her own terms,’ Woodside staff say, but cannot live with other pets.
She was taken to Woodside as her owner was moving and unable to take her with her.
She is an indoor cat.
Flash is a housetrained two-year-old male cat.
Woodside staff say: “Flash is friendly once he gets to know you but will let you know when he has had enough!
“He can be a little temperamental when meeting new people, so new owners would have to take this into account when they come to meet Flash.”
Flash arrived to Woodside in October 2019 with a bad skin condition that has taken time to heal.
He has now healed but new owners will need to monitor him. He needs to be the only pet in an adult-only home.
Eleanor is a young-adult black cat who has been described as “semi-feral”.
She was taken to Woodside as her previous owner was unable to cope. She will need a quiet and calm home and will need to adjust to her new living arrangements.
“She has potential to be a house cat as she is just very scared and could become tame with love and patience,” Wooside staff say.
Dinks is Woodside’s “big friendly giant”.
He is a sweet-natured kitty who is looking for a quiet home. He is between eight and nine years old.
Meg is an indoor cat that is aged between six and eight years old.
She can live with children aged 5 years and over but needs a home with no other pets.
She can by a little shy at first but is a friendly natured cat.
Binky and Flopsy
This pair of female rabbits were taken to Woodside as their previous owner’s cat was scared of them.
Binky is a black/white English and Flopsy is a brown lop. They are looking for a home together.
Stripey is a male black and white Netherland dwarf rabbit.
He was taken to Woodside as his owner had too many pets to cope, staff say.
Coco is also a male Netherland dwarf rabbit.
He was taken to Woodside as his owner had too many pets to cope, staff say.
For our readers who live further out of Plymouth, here are some pets based in Ilfracombe who are in need of forever homes:
Dogs Trust (Ilfracombe)
Staff at Dogs Trust say Brody is an “absolutely stunning-looking Malamute cross who will melt your heart with his big friendly nature”.
He has a “fabulous” temperament, staff say, and wants to say Hello to everyone he meets!
He has previously had surgery on his lft hind leg and therefore will need to continue with regular physiotherapy to help him build up his strength.
He is looking for a loving home where he could live with children 11+. It would be best if he were the only dog in the home for the moment, due to his medical issues, but there is potential for him to live with a playful, tolerant dog in the future.
Brody could cope with a busy household but will need his adopters at home with him for most of the time, time left alone will need to be built up gradually, Dogs Trust staff say.
Lizzie is a four-year-old Staffordshire cross who has gained lots of confidence in a short space of time since she has been at the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in Ilfracombe, staff say.
She is a shy girl but over time she becomes affectionate and loving.
Staff say: “Lizzie is a gorgeous four-year-old crossbreed who has gained lots of confidence in just the short space of time since she has been at the rehoming centre.
“Lizzie is a shy girl but give her a bit of time and she soon comes round to being affectionate and loving. She has the potential to build a very loving bond!
“Lizzie enjoys going for walks, but in regards to other dogs, she seems a little under-socialised and would benefit from gradual introductions to gentle dogs.
“Lizzie seems to have had no previous basic training, but as she loves her treats, when she feels settled and comfortable, she has great potential for learning.”
Maia is a female German Shepherd Dog who can be shy around new people.
She enjoys going for walks but is looking for a “patient” adult home with adopters who are understanding.
Staff said: “Maia is a pretty 5-year-old German Shepherd who is a shy girl around new people. Give her the time and patience and the loving bond comes.
“She lacks confidence around strangers and will need patient and understanding adopters. When she feels settled Maia may enjoy playing with toys, she has slowly started to show some interest.
“She enjoys going for walks and will actively avoid other dogs as she is worried by them. Maia is house-trained and knows her basics of sit and down and she is happy to travel in the car.”