THE RSPCA is calling for a new animal welfare law which will give animals involved in legal proceedings in the North of England the chance to be rehomed much more quickly.

Currently, some neglected and abused pets which are rescued by the RSPCA as part of an investigation cannot be rehomed until the case itself has completed, which means some animals can wait months and even years before finding their second chance.

As part of its Second Chances campaign, the charity is calling for a change in the law which would mean an animal’s future is no longer dependent on court proceedings. A new animal welfare law allowing the charity to rehome an animal following a two-month appeal process would mean the RSPCA can give those pets the forever home they deserve much more quickly rather than waiting for lengthy court cases to conclude.

In 2019, the RSPCA rehomed over 100 animals a day (39,000) - 6,988 in the North of England - and around a quarter of these animals were in their care as a result of an investigation. The charity also spent £4.9m in costs for animals involved in prosecutions in 2019.

In Cumbria, 109 dogs, 206 cats, and four rabbits were rehomed in 2019.

Shelley Phillips, Senior Campaigns Manager at the RSPCA, said: “Our animal care staff go to great lengths to make sure all the animals in our rescue centres get the care and attention they need and are treated as if they were their own pets but a rescue centre can never substitute the comfort and security of a permanent home with loving owners.

“We know that spending extended periods of time in kennels and temporary accommodation can impact an animal’s psychological welfare. This is particularly true for puppies which are at a critical stage of their development and we are seeing increasing numbers of puppies coming into our care as part of our investigation work.

“This is why we are urging the Governments in England and Wales to make a change in the law which would allow us to rehome a pet after two-months, similar to what has also been proposed in Scotland with the SSPCA.”