The RSPCA has taken more than 10,000 calls since launching its emergency Give A Dog A Home appeal on Tuesday to find homes for animals which were among the 269 seized from a single house on 10 September.
In the largest-ever seizure in the history of the society, 244 dogs, 16 parrots, seven cats, a rabbit and a chinchilla were removed from the house of Alan and Rosalind Gregson in Carnforth. It took 26 staff two days to complete the operation.
Lucy Harding of the RSPCA says: The majority of the animals are now ready for re-homing and the number that have been signed over for re-homing is increasing every day.
This is the largest domestic animal haul the RSPCA has ever undertaken. It is thankfully rare at the moment but we do get a few cases of multiple animals being kept in homes.
Normally when someone comes to us for an animal they fill in a questionnaire and then have a home visit. We make sure they can provide everything the animal needs.
This case is a bit different to normal. We are taking details from everyone who calls and will then make a long trawl through to pick out the most suitable homes.
The animals are currently at seven RSPCA centres across the country, the largest number in one place being at Block Fen Centre in Cambridgeshire.
The breeds of dog seized include Lhasa apsos, dachshunds, shih-tzus, Yorkshire terriers, Pekinese and bearded collies, as well as cats and birds. Those who are now ready for new homes have been health-checked and microchipped.
The RSPCA has set up a special helpline for anyone interested in taking on one of the animals, as it is keen to ease the pressure placed on the societys centres by the sudden influx. Keeping this group of animals alone is estimated to cost £10,000 a week in boarding, transport, vets bills, medicine and food.
The RSPCA took 10,000 calls on the hotline on Tuesday and a further 700 by 10am yesterday.
Lucy says: Clearly not everyone can give a home to one of these dogs but we always have animals who need re-homing, and hopefully this will be a good chance for centres to publicise the ongoing need for homes.
If you are interested in giving a home to an animal rescued by the RSPCA call the hotline (tel: 08705 900950). To report cruelty, abandonment or ask advice please use the normal RSPCA number (tel: 0870 55 55 999).