Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Friday, 10 April 2009 10:48 UK

Homes sought for 100 St Bernards

One of the St Bernards (Picture provided by RSPCA)
The dogs "will need special care and patience" says the RSPCA

Animal charity the RSPCA is seeking homes for 100 St Bernards which were taken from kennels in Northamptonshire.

The dogs were removed in December 2008 after they found the owners could "no longer cope" with them, said the RSPCA.

Since then the dogs have been cared for in private boarding kennels on behalf of the RSPCA.

Now ownership of the St Bernards has been signed over to the RSPCA and and the charity wants to find new owners for each dog in the east of England.

The dogs are being rehomed in small groups through various RSPCA animal centres.

Priority will be given to potential owners who live nearest to where the dogs are currently being cared for to limit how far they will have to travel to their new homes.

So far caring for these St Bernards has cost the RSPCA around £100,000
Paul Williams, RSPCA animal welfare manager

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Priority will be given to people living in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Nottinghamshire.

"However, enquiries from other areas will still be taken."

The RSPCA added that St Bernards were large dogs and, as these particular animals had lived in kennels all their lives, they were not used to walking on leads and had not been house trained.

Some of the St Bernards with RSPCA officers (Picture provided by RSPCA)
Priority will be given to people living in the East of England

They will need experienced homes where there is a reasonably large amount of space and will also need regular grooming.

Paul Williams, animal welfare manager in the RSPCA's east region, said: "These dogs will need special care and patience.

"They all have good temperaments but their kennel background means that they will need owners with the knowledge and time to help them settle into their new homes.

"So far caring for these St Bernards has cost the RSPCA around £100,000 and all donations, however big or small, will be gratefully received."

The majority of the dogs range in age from two years to eight years and older.

Anyone who wants to rehouse one of the dogs should contact the RSPCA.

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