Rescue and Rehoming in a Pandemic  - News - Leicester Animal Aidfeature image

Rescue and Rehoming in a Pandemic

During the course of our work, many pet-lovers ask us about the process of rescuing and rehoming cats and dogs and, in particular, why animals are relinquished into rescue. Added to this, folks are also interested in how the pandemic has affected our work. As we've just done a little number-crunching on last years' figures, we thought that now would be a good time to give supporters a little more insight into what we've been up to. Below are some interesting, and very up-to-date, answers to some common questions. 

How many animals did LAA rescue last year? 

In 2021, we rescued 91 dogs and 182 cats. This number is lower than a 'normal' year and can be attributed to the pandemic, during which people gave up fewer dogs and found private ways to rehome or sell them. Usually, our rehoming figure is around 400.

Did you get the same amount of males and females?

Yes, pretty much! With dogs, 49% were male and 51% were female, with cats, 53% were female and 47% were male. 

What was the most common breed of dog?

You may be surprised at the variety of dog breeds we see here at LAA. The most common breeds in 2021 were: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, lurcher, crossbreed, Jack Rusell, Greyhound, terrier, Patterdale, Chihuahua, Poodle, Beagle, Shi Tzu, and French Bulldog. Other breeds that were rehomed but formed only a very small proportion of our intake include German Shepherds, Boxers, Bearded Collies and Yorkshire terriers.    

What about cats? 

That's a simpler picture. 93% of cats that were relinquished were Domestic Shorthair. Domestic Longhair were about 10% and the rest were Domestic Meduimhair and Persian.  

Did the animals that you took in all have health conditions? 

No. The good news is that the majority of animals that we take in have no health conditions. For the ones that do, these tend to have only minor issues like skin irritations, fleas and worms. These conditions are usually highly treatable. Occasionally we see more serious conditions like seizures and infections. But again, these conditions are usually treatable. 

What was the average length of stay for animals? 

This is a little shorter for 2021 than other years because, during the pandemic, people were keen to adopt animals.  For dogs, the average length of stay was just one month and for cats, it was two months. Usually, the average length of stay for an animal is around three months.  

What was the oldest and the youngest animal that you had? 

Our oldest dog was Percy the lurcher, at 12 years and the youngest dogs were Nugget and Cotton, the Jack Rusell terriers at just 4 months. Our oldest cat was Benny, at 16 years. Regarding the youngest cat, since we've had 13 kittens born on site this year, we'd have to say the youngest was 0 and that includes Sooty and Sancho, pictured below. 


What were the most common reasons why animals were relinquished? 

The most common reason for dogs being taken in in 2021 was that they had been picked up as stray like dear Belle the lurcher, pictured below. Other reasons include the ill health of the owner, the owner struggling to cope, housing issues, relationship splits and new babies. With cats, most of the above also apply but allergies are a factor too. 

How can I find out more?

If you find the world of animal rescue interesting, why not book a talk for your community group, Women's Institute group or just for a group of friends? You can find out more here.