The London dog who is still looking for his forever home after more than 500 days in a rescue center


Hattie the Cocker Spaniel stole the hearts of MyLondon readers in February after waiting over 500 days at the RSPCA Southridge to find a new owner. Last week there was good news: Hattie was successfully relocated to a new family.

But Hattie’s neighbor Jake is still house hunting. After Hattie left, nine-year-old Jake took on her title as the animal center’s longest-serving resident.

Since the publication of the MyLondon article, Jake has received a few applications from new owners, which unfortunately have not been successful. For Jake, who the RSPCA says is “desperate to get out of the kennel”, the search for his “forever home” continues.

READ MORE: London’s loneliest dog has finally found a home after 500 days at a rescue center

Jake the German Shepherd arrived at RSPCA Southridge in November 2020 after a change in his owner’s circumstances meant he could no longer look after him. “We don’t know why he came to see us and what the circumstances were – it could be anything,” says animal care assistant Cathie Ward.

Jake saw his other longtime neighbors relocated. The first was Izzi, a young cross who rode Jake for a year and was adopted in February. Next, of course, was Hattie.

“He does pretty well in kennels, but obviously it’s not the same as being in a house,” Cathie explains. He likes to be around people and he is very excited to see you in the morning. He’s a good boy.”

“He’s a lovely boy – really affectionate,” Cathie says of Jake

During his 16 month stay, Jake warmed the hearts of the center staff, who got to know him well. “He can be wary of new people if he doesn’t know them – sometimes it takes him a while, so you need thorough introductions,” says Cathie. “Once you know him, he’s an ugly boy. He’s adorable – he loves hugs, loves scratches, loves kicks. He’s really good at walking…he always listens to you.”

Jake can be nervous around other dogs, Cathie explains. His ideal home would therefore be with an experienced adult owner where he would be the only pet in the house. Jake needs space and according to the centre’s advice, he would benefit from training lessons to help him socialize with other dogs.

Jake is a multi-tasker, chewing on his tennis ball while enjoying a scratch

According to Cathie, it was Jake’s extra needs, combined with his age, that kept him at the center for so long. “Nine is old for a dog, and people worry about how long they’ll be spending with them,” she says. “At home here, we think differently: we like old people [being rehomed] because it gives them that nice, loving home, even though they’ve only been with them for a few years… It’s quite rewarding to me.”

She adds: “He’s a lovely boy – really affectionate… He likes to sit on the benches or on the sofa with you. He’s a good boy and he would be lovely around the house. He’s a great companion. adorable, but again, he’s looking for experienced owners who are happy to take over any existing traits.”

Jake hugs animal care assistant Amy Hearne

Either way, Southridge Animal Center will be sad to see him go when Jake’s “forever home” finally arrives. “It’s bittersweet. Obviously, you get attached to them, you bond with them,” says Cathie. “It’s hard. But at the same time, seeing them relocated, especially the long stays or the old ones… we are always thrilled when they leave.”

Southridge Animal Center is the closest RSPCA rescue center to London, rehoming pets in the capital and further afield.

Could you be Jake’s new owner? Contact Southridge Animal Center for more information.

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