EVERY week in our ‘Adopt a Pet’ column - written in conjunction with the RSPCA’s Landing Lane animal home - we feature a different pet in need of a new home.

Often the animals were taken in by the RSPCA when they were in a desperate condition. Their previous owner may have died; or they may have been abandoned, or lost, or simply found wandering in the street. After being nursed back to health by RSPCA staff, many of them go on to new homes with new owners. But how do they get on?

Here, we look at four adoption ‘success stories’...



Bandit is a brindle male lurcher. He was just 10 months old when he was brought to the animal home. “The owner was unable to cope with his boisterous and energetic character,” the animal home’s Marie Sandall said. “He was in good condition but he was out of control and had very little training.”

Bandit remained with the RSPCA for almost two years before being adopted by Steve and Melanie Tuck, from Harrogate.

The couple had gone to the RSPCA when looking for a pet because they were ‘passionate about adopting animals’, Melanie said. They wanted a lurcher or greyhound, and were struck by Bandit straight away.

“We both thought he was so handsome - and quite large!” Melanie said. “He came right up to us and we loved how friendly he is with people.”

They met him about four times at the animal home before taking him home with them. “Everyone who works there (at the animal home) does such a great job and they threw Bandit a little party on the day we picked him up!” Melanie said.

York Press: Bandit with his new owners, Melanie and Steve TuckBandit with his new owners, Melanie and Steve Tuck

Bandit with Melanie and Steve

Now three years old, Bandit has settled in well, Melanie says.

“He loves the sofa and our garden and is adjusting well to home life. He gets on great with us. He and Steve go on runs together and we take him on long walks. He spends his evenings cuddling us on the sofa.

“He’s a mix of very playful and curious. He pretty much just follows us around the house and likes to be where the people are. He’s very food motivated and loves his treats!

“He has added so much to us. He’s our first dog as a married couple and he makes us laugh.

“We definitely have to be careful with him in the kitchen, though, as he likes to counter surf and tries to find any food we’ve left!”



Jessie is a brindle female Staffy who arrived at the animal home when she was nine years old.

“She came in after already having had a couple of homes,” said Marie. “The new owner was unable to manage a new dog and young children. Jessie was in good condition but struggled to adjust to kennel life and was quite depressed while at the centre.”

Jessie remained at the animal home for almost nine months before being adopted by Christina Wallis from Nether Poppleton.

“We just thought we would give a rescue dog a bit of caring and quality of life - even though we knew she’d been looked after well at the RSPCA,” Christina said. “We were so pleased to meet her and knew we had picked the right dog. We couldn’t wait to take her home with us!”

York Press: 'Full of life': Jessie'Full of life': Jessie

'Full of life': Jessie

Now aged 10, Jessie has settled in very well, Christina said. “You’d think she had always lived here. She’s full of life, never misses a thing that’s going on and loves to go out for her daily walks.” Jessie loves attention, but doesn’t play family favourites, Christina said. “Her favourite family member is whoever gives her the most attention!”

Having Jessie has made a big difference to the family’s life, Christina says. “She has made us get out as much as we can in this present climate - which is a bonus for us all!”



Ted, a white male terrier, was about eight years old when he was brought in to the animal home. He was in a terrible condition, Marie says - he was found unconscious after apparently being beaten, and had a fractured pelvis and wounds to his head. After veterinary treatment he made a full physical recovery, but was left traumatised by his ordeal. “But after lots of TLC and patience he began to trust again and became the sweetest little lad,” Marie said.

He was at the animal home for 218 days before being adopted by James and Elaine Taylor, from Acomb.

The pair already had a rescue dog, a small cocker spaniel named Amy, who was grieving after another pet had died. They wanted a new companion for her. They knew, however, that introducing Ted into the family wouldn’t be easy. “I knew given his backstory that Ted wouldn’t throw himself into my arms and it would require patience,” James said.

Ted also had to get to know Amy before coming home. “It required several visits day after day, introducing the two dogs and allowing Ted to build up familiarity on his own terms,” James said.

York Press: Ted with his new best friend Amy (left)Ted with his new best friend Amy (left)

Ted, right, with his new best friend Amy

But Ted is now doing ‘really well’, James said. “He’s fit, happy and healthy and settled quickly.

“Given the terrible physical cruelty he suffered he’s remarkably trusting of people and sociable. He’s fussy with everyone and will take any available lap to fall asleep on.”

He has also given Amy her spark back, James said. “Amy is very bold (particularly now Ted’s here) and that fearlessness has helped Ted grow in confidence.”

It is amazing the way the little dog has settled in, James said. “He’s lying with his head on my arm at the moment, so it’s fair to say we’ve got there! I wouldn’t be without him.”



Rio is a tan-coloured male Akita who was brought to the York animal home via an inspector after being found in horrendous condition due to a severe flea allergy. “All his back was red raw and infected from the constant scratching,” Marie said.

After receiving veterinary care, the ten-year-old made a full recovery. He is an ‘absolute gent’, Marie says - though his breed and age made it difficult to find a new home for him.

Rio remained at the animal home for just over a year, before being adopted by Elaine Anderson and her partner Andy, who live in Dalgety Bay north of Edinburgh. The pair had had an Akita before. They saw Rio's details online, contacted the RSPCA and had a ‘virtual visit’. And then, three days later, they drove down to meet Rio in person.

It was ‘love at first sight’, Elaine said. “He said hello to both of us, and then we went for a walk with him. We knew he was the boy for us!”

York Press: Rio (now known as Teddy) with Elaine and Andy's 13-year-old niece AliceRio (now known as Teddy) with Elaine and Andy's 13-year-old niece Alice

Rio, now known as Teddy, with Elaine and Andy's niece, Alice

Four months ago, they adopted him. It was a four-and-a-half hour drive back to Scotland. “He sat up in the back seat the whole journey looking out of the window,” Elaine said.

“When we arrived home, he walked all around the house into every room and all around the garden. He then lay down on a bed we had for him and that was him at home straightaway.”

One of the first things Elaine and Andy did was give Rio a new name - Teddy. And then they introduced him to their family, friends and neighbours.

“The next day my sister and niece visited and sat on the sofa. He jumped up beside them and is now on the sofa every day...but he is part of the family so that’s fine!

“We talk to far more people in the town now when we’re out walking with him. People often stop to admire him or ask what breed he is and children often comment that he is a bear or a teddy.

“He has completely taken over our home and lives! He is really thriving, curious, full of mischief, dances about when it's time for a walk - and loves people!”

To find our more about the work of the RSPCA's York animal home, visit www.rspca-yorkhome.org.uk

The home always tries to re-home to adopters living in the York area. There are some restrictions on its re-homing procedure at the moment due to Covid, so it can not adopt out dogs at present.

The home is an independent animal shelter and relies upon the support and funding of local supporters to rehome hundreds of cats, dogs, small animals and wildlife each year.