WITH the rise in pet ownership during lockdown, if you are still debating a canine companion, why not adopt a dog instead? 

Darlington Dogs Trust has 24 dogs listed online and some have been at the centre for years.

All are looking for their forever home. 

Some rescue dogs are straight forward handovers, who get given to the charity after living with families, while others were found straying by local authorities.

Now, Dogs Trust Darlington is urging anyone with "space in your heart and home" to get in and give a rescue dog a new home.

Sue Embleton, manager at Dogs Trust Darlington said: “We would love to find suitable homes for these wonderful dogs, so please do read their profiles and get in touch if you are a match for one of them and you have space in your heart and home.

“There are many reasons why some dogs stay in our care a little longer than others, sometimes this is can be because of their age, breed or even their specific rehoming needs. Every dog in our care is truly unique, with their own personality and in the right home, will make a fantastic companion.

“While it is sad for them to have been in kennels for a long time, we have loved looking after them and it will be an emotional day when they find their forever homes and we need to say goodbye.”

But who are Darlington's long-term residents? 

Rowland the Greyhound 

The Northern Echo: Rowland the Greyhound. Picture: Dogs TrustRowland the Greyhound. Picture: Dogs Trust

Darlington's longest resident Rowland has spent three years at the centre - most of his life - after being found as a stray.

He was left to fend for himself at six months old.

Rowland also needed surgery on his left leg that required a full limb amputation, he had the operation at the start of 2020 and Dogs Trust say he has made a great recovery.

The centre says Rowland is a bit sensitive but very loving and people-orientated.

Teddy the Akita

The Northern Echo: Teddy the Akita. Picture: Dogs TrustTeddy the Akita. Picture: Dogs Trust

Also found as a stray, Teddy is six years old and has been at Dogs Trust for a year and a half. 

He is an enthusiastic dog and shows his cheeky personality to everyone he knows.

His love of food and toys are certainly the way to make friends with him as it does take him some time to warm up to new people and he isn't going to love everyone.

Teddy the Shepherd 

The Northern Echo: Teddy the Shepherd. Picture: Dogs Trust Teddy the Shepherd. Picture: Dogs Trust

Teddy, aged eight, has been a resident at Darlington for two and a half years after being handed in by previous owners.

The beautiful dog enjoys a fuss from his carers but can take a little while to get to know new people.

He needs an experienced owner with a quiet home and someone who can monitor his food as he enjoys it a little too much.

Dexter the Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

The Northern Echo: Dexter the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Picture: Dogs TrustDexter the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Picture: Dogs Trust

Six-year-old Dexter is a big personality and he likes to charge at life full throttle. He loves food and likes to run through his entire repertoire of tricks for a treat.

He also likes the company of people and enjoys playing with his toys but sometimes likes to keep his favourites to himself.

He has been at Dogs Trust Darlington for four months.

Thor the Belgian Shepherd Dog

The Northern Echo: Thor the Belgian Shepherd DogThor the Belgian Shepherd Dog

Thor is a young, excitable boy who, although is worried by new faces, can be won around with food and toys. 

The one-year-old dog, who has been with Dogs Trust for six months, has spent most of his life outdoors so will need housetraining. He would suit owners who enjoy doing extra activities with their dogs such as search work or tracking. ​