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Famous rescue dogs need YOU

PUBLISHED: 14:53 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 12 August 2010

MORE than 100 St Bernard dogs rescued from kennels last year are in desperate need of new homes, writes Kate Nelson. The dogs, which featured in the film Beethoven, are being rehomed in small groups through various RSPCA animal centres and priority is be

MORE than 100 St Bernard dogs rescued from kennels last year are in desperate need of new homes, writes Kate Nelson.

The dogs, which featured in the film Beethoven, are being rehomed in small groups through various RSPCA animal centres and priority is being given to potential owners who live in north Kent as the dogs are being cared for near Maidstone.

The animals were removed from kennels in Northamptonshire in December last year.

RSPCA animal welfare manager Paul Williams 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.

"These dogs are being rehomed from our animal centre in Kent, so we hope that a Kent resident can find room in their heart and their home for one of these loveable giants.

"The majority of the dogs range in age from two years to eight years and older and should make very loyal and rewarding pets for those able to give them the care they desperately need.

"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."

St Bernard's are large animals and these particular dogs have lived in kennels all their lives. They are not used to walking on leads and have not been house trained so will need experienced homes where there is a reasonably large amount of space. They will also need regular grooming.

The dogs originate from the Swiss Alps and were originally bred for rescue missions.

Earliest written records of the breed are from monks at the hospice at the Great St Bernard Pass, the most ancient pass through the Western Alps, in 1707, with paintings and drawings of the dog dating even earlier.

The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives.

A donation will be required in return for rehoming one of the dogs which helps cover the cost of their neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and veterinary check. If you would like to re-home one of the dogs or make a donation call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8000.

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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