A dog who had spent more than 400 days at RSPCA NSW's Hunter Shelter has finally been adopted, and there are plenty more long-termers still looking for homes.
Keith 'celebrated' his milestone in September with a car ride, chicken nuggets, a swim and a surprise party, complete with his own 400 day cake which he shared with his shelter friends while wearing a huge smile.
A family from Wollongong travelled all the way to meet Keith and on Tuesday, October 3 he was officially adopted.
Hunter Shelter manager Ellie Siemsen is thrilled Keith has found a home, and said there are lots of other long-termers at the Rutherford shelter who are looking for love.
"He's living his best life, it's so beautiful," she said.
Ms Siemsen said pets can be overlooked for adoption for a range of reasons.
"Animals come to the RSPCA and they have all different backgrounds, some of them have experienced neglect or trauma or uncertainty, as well as a lot of them are on different medications so it's just trying to find the perfect person for them," she said.
"We're extremely dedicated here so we don't mind how long it takes, but obviously we definitely want to find the perfect home."
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Ms Siemsen said in 2020, the average adult dog was in the shelter for seven days before being adopted, but now the average is more than 35 days.
Four dogs and three horses at the Hunter Shelter have achieved long-termer status, having stayed for more than 150 days.
Dogs Diesel, Delilah, Eddie and Raven are all sweethearts looking for a family.
While Ms Siemsen said she doesn't like to have favourites, she does have a sweet spot for Raven, who is an 11-month-old Kelpie x German Shephard who is dog social, loves being indoors and going swimming.
Raven is a sweet girl who needs a home with no kids under 12, solid fencing and experience with working dogs due to her size and high energy.
Delilah the Rottweiler has been up for adoption for 170 days, and enjoys the quiet life so would suit a peaceful home with adults only where she is the only pet. She loves coming inside, and would suit a family with breed experience.
Eddie is a stunning cattle dog who has been up for adoption for 153 days. He came to the RSPCA a bit skinny and is now feeling healthy and ready for his new home. He's incredibly smart and would suit an active home where he's the only pet with no children under 15-years-old.
Diesel is a wolfhound cross who loves people and being inside. He's a very big, sweet guy who due to his size needs a home with no children under 15-years-old and where he's the only pet.
Horses Sky, Stevie and Murphy have all achieved long-termer status too, having been up for adoption for more than 180 days.
Murphy is a 12-year-old bay standardbred gelding who gets along well with his paddock mates and although being quite big is a huge softy.
Stevie is a 17-year-old bay thoroughbred gelding who loves cuddles and being the centre of attention. He has manageable laminitis which is new owner will need to speak to the vets about.
Sky is a 17-year-old chestnut thoroughbred mare who lives up to the spicy chestnut mare reputation, but has a sweet side too. She has a big personality and can't wait to meet her new best friend.
All horses need to go to a family confident with horses.
The Hunter Shelter is in need of foster carers as well as adoptees.
"If you can't adopt now reach out to see if fostering might be an option," Ms Siemsen said.
"We definitely need more foster carers, if we have more animals out in homes, it's better welfare for the animals to obviously be out of the shelter environment and in a normal environment, like a home.
"And also then... we can then help more animals into our shelter as well."
Visit www.rspcansw.org.au to see pets up for adoption or to enquire about foster caring.
The Hunter Shelter is at 6-10 Burlington Place, Rutherford.