AN ANIMAL shelter is aiming to dispel rumours that it has an upper age limit for taking on its dogs.
Staff at the RSPCA-run Stubbington Ark in Stubbington admit that they often give older dogs to older owners, but say they look at everyone on a case-by-case basis.
Its only age limit is that all potential owners be at least 18.
Mike Ward, manager of the Ark, said: ‘We’ve got a charity shop in Fareham that’s doing very well but the manager there said she was hearing from people coming in and saying they would support the shop but had heard they couldn’t have one of our dogs because of their age.
‘And we’ve heard the same rumour on a few home visits as well.
‘But that’s just not true and we have no idea where or why it started.
‘Obviously we look at the capability of the people involved – if you want to take home a big boxer or something, then you need to be able to be able to look after them, but that applies to anyone.
‘You will be judged on your merits as a dog owner.
‘Of course we don’t want the pet to outlive its owner, but we go into quite a lot of depth about a potential owner’s lifestyles and capabilities.
‘A six-month-old puppy with an 85-year-old probably isn’t going to work, but there’s often family who will help out and we do make sure there are safeguards there.’
Pete Walden, chairman of the Havant 50-Plus Forum, has had 11-year-old German shepherd Brockie since she was only a few weeks old.
The 82-year-old said: ‘I think that’s a very sensible policy.
‘Brockie is my fourth dog and I know if you treat them right, they’ll look after you – unless you’re a postman!
‘If I was to get another dog, I doubt it would be a puppy and if anything happened to me, it is a worry what would happen to her, but I think my family would take her.’