Cheltenham Animal Shelter launches its 2023 Long Stay Pet Week campaign

Cheltenham Animal Shelter are launching their Long Stay Pet Week with a free event at the shelter on Saturday, July 22. They will be opening the doors to a small group of genuine dog adopters to come along and find out more about the rescue dogs who have been at there the longest, with a view to finding homes for them.

Many people have been following the story of Kato and Poppy, who arrived at the shelter in April 2021 after their owner passed away. More than two years later, nobody has come forward to adopt them and very sadly Poppy passed away earlier this week, so they are hopeful that Kato will find his forever home as a result of Long Stay Pet Week, along with his fellow long-stay dogs Freddo, Rigby, Iris, Harper, Ozzy and Athena.

Although the launch event only features long-stay dogs, Cheltenham Animal Shelter is launching a Long Stay Pet Week website and social media campaign – from Saturday, July 22 to Friday, July 28 – which will also feature long-stay cats, Ozzy and Smudge, and small animals, Rose and Scarlett, and Marshall and Chase.

From 10am to 12 noon on Saturday, July 22, a limited number of people who are genuinely looking to adopt a rescue dog will be able to visit the shelter, speak to the carers and behaviourists about the wonderful dogs, and possibly meet one or two of them. There will be the opportunity to discuss the application process, then return to meet your chosen dog on a one-to-one basis.

Places are free, but must be booked on the website. Please only apply if you are genuinely in a position to offer a home to one of the featured long-stay dogs.

Find out more about the long-stay animals...


  • Kato: ‘Seven-year-old Akita. Has been with us for over 830 days (arrived April 2021). Came to us with Poppy the American Bulldog who sadly passed away this week. He is not happy on his own, so we need to find his forever home ASAP!’
  • Freddo: ‘A six-year-old Staffy who has been nearly six months at the shelter. Needs a home where he is allowed to have his own space and owners who will allow him take things slowly.’
  • Rigby: ‘Nine-year-old English Bull Terrier cross. Arrived as a stray at the end of Feb. Really friendly and has a lot of energy.’
  • Iris: ‘One-year-old crossbreed. Came to us as a stray at the start of February. Needs an experienced home with people who can read dog body language as she can be nervous about formal handling and fuss.’

Great British Life: Seven-year-old HarperSeven-year-old Harper (Image:

  • Harper: ‘Seven-year-old Boxer crossbreed who has been here three months. Very friendly but has some stiffness in her hips so needs a calm, quiet home with a secure garden.’
  • Ozzy: ‘An 18-month-old Lurcher. He has not been here as long as the others, but we know it is going to be really hard to find the right home for him so have decided to include him. He is very anxious of everything so needs a quiet, adult-only home with no other pets and where his owner has lots of patience and will be able to focus on helping him to become more confident.’

Great British Life: Six-year-old AthenaSix-year-old Athena (Image:

  • Athena: ‘Six-year-old Chihuahua who had never been outside of her house prior to coming to us. She needs a compassionate and patient owner who can help her realise the world doesn’t need to be a scary place and who is willing to accept she may only be happy pottering around the house. She has not been with us for as long as the others but needs a very special home, so she is the type of dog who ends up staying with us for a long time.’

Cats (online only):

Great British Life: Three-year-old OzzyThree-year-old Ozzy (Image:

  • Ozzy: ‘Three-year-old Ozzy has FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) which is a feline-only virus that affects around 2-5% of the cat population. Ozzy is otherwise in good health, but it his FIV means he needs to be an indoor cat. He really is a sweetie and will make a fantastic pet. Has been with us since March.’

Great British Life: Four-year-old SmudgeFour-year-old Smudge (Image:

  • Smudge: ‘This four-year-old has been with us for five months. He has signs of a heart murmur but this does not currently require any medication. Would like a home where he can come and go as he pleases because he loves to explore.’

Small animals (online only):

  • Marshall and Chase: ‘One-year-old male rats. Quite chubby so need a strict diet! Been here almost four months, which is very strange as rats usually get adopted quickly.’
  • Rose and Scarlett: ‘Female rabbits who came to us in Feb due to cost-of-living pressures. We are currently seeing fewer applications to adopt our rabbits, and a very long waiting list to take in rabbits people can no longer care for.’

Visit for more information and to book tickets for the Long Stay Pet Week launch event.