As the RSPCA’s annual ‘Adoptober’ rehoming drive continues, the charity wants to dispel the myth it only rehomes cats and dogs – by showcasing to prospective owners the vast numbers of rescue farm animals in its care looking for loving new homes.
The charity currently has more than 100 farm animals looking for their forever homes, including pot-bellied pig Crumpet (pictured above), as new figures raise concerns that more animals are being relinquished to charities at a time when rehoming has slowed.
The animal welfare charity – which operates 14 national rehoming centres across England and Wales, while supporting a network of branches with an additional 45 animal shelters – has released new figures that show rehoming has dropped 8% while animal intake is up 8.4% year-on-year.
The RSPCA’s annual Adoptober rehoming drive will run throughout this month, promoting adoption and highlighting the many rescue animals in the charity’s care waiting to find their perfect match.
The charity fears that the cost of living crisis means more farm animals are coming into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet.
Releasing new figures, the RSPCA has highlighted a potential animal rescue crisis as more animals come into care, stay in rescue centres for longer, with less people coming forward to adopt.
In 2021, the RSPCA’s network of centres and branches rehomed 26,945 animals; an 8% drop compared to the previous year when 29,358 animals were rehomed, and a huge 31% drop from 2019 (39,178) despite the Covid pandemic affecting the way in which charities across the nation could rehome.
The charity has also seen a rise in the number of farm animals coming into its care in recent months and with only limited facilities to care for farm animals, the RSPCA is urging those who can provide a home for a pig, chicken or cockerel to consider adopting.
There are currently 16 farm animals waiting to find their forever homes in RSPCA care and a further 102 in partner boarding facilities patiently waiting for their homes too.
Dr Marc Cooper, head of farm animals at the RSPCA, said: “We know that some people assume we just rehome cats and dogs but that is far from the case – we actually have lots of farm animals that are rescued by our inspectors that end up coming into the care of our fantastic animal centres with facilities to care for them, and are now looking for homes.
“Farm animals often have different needs to animals such as dogs, cats or rabbits, so it’s important to consider whether you have the time, resources and money they need. Farm animals should also be registered with a specialist farm vet who can give you lots of advice regarding their diet and health care.
“If you have the right environment for these animals, and the time and money to care for them, they can make wonderful additions to your family. They are very intelligent, curious and can be very affectionate, and rehoming a farm animal can be very rewarding.”
Whether you’d like some hens in your garden or have space for a huge pot-bellied pig, the charity is urging those looking to bring a farm animal into their lives to consider rehoming from the RSPCA this Adoptober.
Peppa Pig came into the care of the RSPCA as part of a litter of piglets. She is now seven-years-old and is looking for a home with her mum Penelope.
Penelope is a very unique pig – she only has one ear due to being picked on in her previous home, and she is now hoping for a second chance in a home where she can live her life as a companion pet pig. Penelope lives quite happily with her now grown-up babies, so being homed with Peppa is essential to ensure she has companionship for the remainder of her life.
These are friendly pigs who need a large enclosure with a snug pig hut for comfort where they can spend their days playing in the mud and looking for morsels to eat.
If you think you can give Peppa and Penelope a loving home, contact RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, on email@example.com.
Crumpet is a portly pot-bellied pig. Little is known about her previous life but she came into the charity’s care with Phil. However, due to disagreements between them the pair are looking for homes separately.
Crumpet needs a chilled retirement home however she can be pretty sprightly around feeding time! She would like to live as an only pig with someone who can dedicate some time and resources to keep her stimulated and happy. She is a confident girl who knows what she wants and does occasionally like to be stroked, especially on the side of her belly.
She is a little overweight and the staff at the centre are monitoring her hind legs for stiffness as well as putting her on a diet to shift some pounds. She will need a large field with a shelter and the field will need secure fencing. Crumpet is looking for an owner with previous experience of caring for pigs and a county parish holding (CPH) number from Defra in England, or the Welsh Government in Wales.
Phil – Crumpet’s former companion – is a young Old Spot pig with a lovely nature. He is happy to have back rubs and enjoys his wallow on a warm day. Phil will run over with great enthusiasm and a wagging tail whenever it’s breakfast or dinner time; he loves his pig nuts but is not so fussed about his fruit or veg. He will need a large field with a shelter and the field will need secure fencing as well as an owner with a CPH number.
If you think you can give Crumpet or Phil a home, contact RSPCA Stubbington Ark, Fareham in Hampshire, on 01329 667541.
There are also three female pot-bellied pigs looking for a home at RSPCA West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset. They are called Farrah, Florina and Jolene.
A pair of pigs will ideally need a securely fenced half acre paddock to provide them with the space to roam and forage. An area of hard standing should be provided, as well as shelters to provide shade in the summer and a wallow for them to mud bathe. They must have access to at least one insulated ark or other solid shelter with bedding such as straw. Larger groups will need more space and access to multiple shelters and watering points.
To apply to adopt, or for more information please email RSPCA West Hatch at firstname.lastname@example.org. When enquiring, please provide a photo and dimensions of any accommodation that is currently in place.
The pair, who can be rehomed separately or together, are now looking for a flock to call their own.
Paul and Barry can both be a little shy and are initially wary of people but with time they soon come around. They would benefit from lots of enrichment to keep them busy such as hanging vegetables, a box of soil for dustbathing and lots of perches to sit on and watch the world go by.
If you think you can give Paul and Barry a home, please contact the RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre on email@example.com.
Meet Elvis Peckley and Ben Affpeck. They came into the care of the RSPCA as the pair were sadly abandoned. They are both cheerful little fellas looking for a home either separately with some hens, or together, if there are plenty of hens as they could fight when there are females around. They could also be rehomed as just a pair with no existing hens in the home.
They need a large space, so ideally access to a secure, open area of grass or a wild area to forage in with some accomodation which they can be securely shut into at night to keep them safe from any predators.
They are a sweet pair of cockerels who will thrive in a home, so if you think you can rehome Elvis Peckley or Ben Affpeck contact RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Centre, Buckinghamshire, by emailing your perfect match form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marvin and Hank are a pair of two-year-old cockerels looking for their forever home. They came into the care of RSPCA Southridge in Hertfordshire through no fault of their own. Hank and Marvin are ‘mini’ ornamental breeds of cockerels so they are tiny – weighing just under a kilo (just under 2.2lb). The handsome pair are very tame and friendly. They would like to be rehomed together with no other cockerels or hens, or they could be rehomed separately to a home with other hens who can take them under their wing.
If you think you can give Marvin and Hank a loving home, please contact RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, on email@example.com.
Acorn and Sycamore are two bantam cockerels who were sadly found straying and were never reclaimed by an owner. They have sweet, docile natures and have been sharing a pen together for some time and get along well.
A group of chickens will need a secure coop to roost overnight, and access to a safe area during the day where they can scratch about on grass, dust bathe, and exhibit their natural behaviours.
To apply to adopt, or for more information, please email RSPCA West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton, Somerset at firstname.lastname@example.org. When enquiring, please provide a photo and dimensions of any accommodation that is currently in place.
Hocus and Pocus are two food-loving cockerels who are looking for a home together. They came into the care of the RSPCA at the end of September after they had been found in a box by a member of the public who brought them home. They were kept in a spare room for a month before the member of the public realised they could not care for them properly. They then came into the care of RSPCA Stubbington Ark in Fareham, where they are now looking for their forever home.
These not-so-spooky cockerels are in need of plenty of space and someone who understands their complicated needs.
Contact RSPCA Stubbington Ark, Fareham in Hampshire, on 01329 667541.
Sadly, the RSPCA regularly deals with cases of abandoned cockerels, and it is thought this could be as a result of disputes between neighbours over their crowing, or simply the fact that they cannot lay eggs.
For more information on farm animals visit: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/farm/farmanimals.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit its website or call its donation line on 0300 123 8181.
More information like this can be found in The Country Smallholder magazine. Subscribe here.