DOG rehoming soared during lockdown as families spent more time at home due to the pandemic and home-working.

New figures, released by the RSPCA, reveal that 4,877 dogs were rehomed in 2020, despite the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

In Hampshire the RSPCA rehomed 136 dogs in 2020.

Now the charity is promoting Adoptober, to encourage would be owners to take on a rescue dog and adopt instead of shop.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “At the beginning of lockdown we were concerned about how difficult it might be to rehome animals, especially as we had to pause all rehoming for several weeks until we were able to come up with a new rehoming model that adhered to the Government’s guidelines.

“Once we had approval from Defra to re-launch rehoming, we were staggered by the levels of interest we had in our animals; particularly our dogs.

“We saw an unprecedented level of interest in rehoming dogs from families who were spending more time at home and wanted the company of a furry friend.

“Many of our centres received hundreds of applications for individual dogs and some canines were being snapped up before they had even been advertised online.”

The charity launched virtual rehoming in order to continue rehoming animals while still sticking to the Government’s restrictions on social distancing and non-essential travel.

People were encouraged to apply for pets online and staff arranged video call interviews and meet and greets to match the right homes with the right people.

Dr Gaines added: “While most of our animals were snapped up quickly, there are some who have sadly been overlooked time and time again because of their colour, breed, age or background.

This Adoptober, we want to try to find homes for all of the wonderful dogs who remain with us.”

Two-year-old Collie, Waffle, who is being cared for by the team at The Stubbington Ark, is a sensitive boy who has not had the best start to life.

He lacks socialisation skills and can be fearful of new people and other dogs.

Waffle initially found the outside world incredibly overstimulating, and has found it difficult to focus on anything.

He has come a long way. , especially when meeting new people, however this is a work in progress and new owners will need to be confident and prepared to continue the training in the home, potentially with the help from a behaviourist.

Waffle will need a secure garden to run around in as he will have to be kept on lead initially.

He will also need a quiet home with limited visitors whilst he is settling in.

For more information about Adoptober, please visit

To see all the animals that the RSPCA has available for rehoming visit