Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is hoping dog lovers will consider giving a golden oldie their perfect retirement home, after online searches for buying a puppy soared.
Google searches increased by a huge 213 per cent after lockdown began in March last year, compared to the previous 12 months.
One Older Age Pooch (OAP) looking for somewhere to rest his paws is Akita, Paddy, who is nine.
Louise Campbell, Dogs Trust Shrewsbury manager, said “Paddy is a lovely dog and is quite laid back but he has a fun, silly side too, which is lovely to see and he loves going on walks. His tail never wags more than when he knows it’s time to head out.
“He is a big, strong dog but he is gentle and polite. He is happy to stay at home and enjoy a snooze if his owners need to go out without him, but we can guarantee he will always welcome them back with lots of enthusiasm.”
In the nine months up to the end of March this year, almost 50 per cent of people looking to adopt a dog from Dogs Trust were looking for a four-legged friend under six months, compared to five per cent looking for a dog aged 8 or over.
Louise added: “In the last year so many people have wanted to welcome a puppy into their family, but older dogs like Paddy make fantastic companions too.
“Older dogs are often calmer and less energetic so although they may still be playful and enjoy a stroll in the park, hiking up hills may be a thing of the past for them, which suits some owners, young and old.
“Also with an older dog, what you see is what you get both in terms of personality and size and although you can certainly teach an older dog new tricks, they usually know the training basics and have experienced many things in their lives, so as long as they have had positive experiences, they will take things in their stride.
“Helping an older dog like Paddy enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live their best life is incredibly rewarding.
"We would urge anyone looking to welcome a dog into their life to consider giving a golden oldie their forever home where they can relax and rest their paws in their twilight years.”
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and normally cares for around 14,000 dogs across its network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin.
The charity has a non-destruction policy and says it will never put a healthy dog to sleep. The charity also focuses its efforts on understanding dogs and sharing that knowledge with the wider public to prevent problem behaviours that can result in relinquishment or abandonment.
Dogs Trust Shrewsbury first opened 40 years ago and is one of the oldest of the charity’s oldest rehoming centres. It was originally known as Dogs Trust Roden and after a recent, much-needed rebuild is now a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly centre. It has around 130 dogs, 76 kennels and is set in 30 acres of land.
Visit dogstrust.org.uk/olddogs to find out about looking after and old dog and to receive further information.