Dog lovers looking for a new friend this year will be delighted to learn there are lots of dogs up for adoption across the North East.

As we march into spring, many dogs across the region are waiting to meet their new owners and start their new lives.

Adoption centres across County Durham and Teesside all have plenty of rescue dogs looking for their forever home.

We have compiled a list of seven pups hoping to bring some light into their new owner's lives.

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Luna, American Akita - Approximately 3 years

The Northern Echo:

Luna has been described by staff at Great Ayton Animal Centre in Middlesbrough as a "bright spark" and has been a real hit with staff.

They have said she has begun to show her character to staff and really open up, and that she loves a fuss and some attention.

They have also noted she is still "learning to accept a gentle hand," but as time has gone on and staff have worked with her, her trust has been steadily built.

Considering this, the centre believes Luna will need a patient home willing to give her the time and space she needs to come out of her shell.

They have also recommended she not live with cats, but have said she gets on really well with lots of dogs.

Adding to this, they believe Luna would be able to live in a household with older teenagers who are confident around dogs.

Pongo, German Shorthaired Pointer cross - Approximately 5 years

The Northern Echo:

This handsome, and remarkably photogenic, pup arrived into RSPCA care after previously living in an unstable environment.

As a result of his troubled home life, the Felledge Animal Centre in Chester-le-Street are looking for a "very special home" for Pongo.

Staff have described him as a "friendly boy", who despite his wariness around strangers, is very playful and loves a good game of fetch with those he is familiar with.

It must be noted he has suffered from health issues in the past, and the centre have said due to this history he could have an adverse reaction when in pain or discomfort.

Pongo can be strong on lead and will require further training with this.

While he gets on well with the other dogs at the centre, staff feel he would be best suited being the only dog in the home so he recieves all of the love and patience he requires.

The centre has also recommended he live in an adult-only household without other pets.

Staff at Felledge are looking for the right person to help Pongo after his difficult start to life, and have said he is ready to find his forever home and family.

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Tia, German Shepherd - Approximately 10 years

The Northern Echo:

The "very loving" Tia was brought into RSPCA's Sunderland branch after her previous owner could no longer provide for her.

An older dog, she still remains quite active according to centre staff, though is just as happy to take it easy and cuddle up with someone.

Staff have said Tia has been good off lead and has been doing extremely well with her recall, but does tend to pull on her lead.

Despite this, the old dog can seemingly new tricks as staff have said she responds very well to training.

Tia has some age-related arthritis which is not currently affecting her, but she may need pain medication for this in the future, should it show any signs of getting worse.

This girl is definitely still a pup at heart, and if her love for a fuss and a good cuddle is anything to go by, she will make a great couch companion for any new owners.

Rocket, Lurcher crossbreed - Approximately 1 year

The Northern Echo:

This handsome Brindle and White Lurcher is still just a pup, and is greatly looking forward to finding new friends and a forever home.

Sadly, Rocket came into Felledge's care after his previous owner could no longer look after him.

Described by staff as "eager to please" and "always on the go," this fun-loving canine is very active and will need owners to match this energy.

Adding to this, he loves lots of fussing, treats and attention, and the centre believe he could thrive being the only pet in an adult-only household.

The centre have said Rocket really deserves a second chance at finding his perfect family, and believe he could make a great friend to the right owner.

Mia, Lurcher crossbreed - Approximately 3 years

The Northern Echo:

This beautiful girl has been described by staff at Great Ayton Animal Centre as "full of love" and looking for the right owner to share this with.

Sadly, when Mia first came to the centre she arrived in rough shape, with the centre describing her as "skin and bones."  

Since then, she has rebounded and has shown a great love for food, though it must be noted she dislikes sharing.

Despite getting on well with other dogs, staff think she would be suited being the only pet in the home so she can have her new owners undivided attention.

They have also said Mia would be suitable to live with older teenagers who are used to big, energetic dogs.

She would also benefit from a home with sighthound experience, but this is not essential if someone is willing to research the breed.

If you match this criteria, you might be perfect to be Mia's brand new friend.

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Banjo, Jack Russell Terrier - Approximately 5 years

The Northern Echo:

Do not be fooled by the savage appearance of this little fellow, staff have attested that Banjo is a "cheeky" boy and a furball of fun.

Sadly, Banjo was used as a hunting dog before coming in to RSPCA care which left him with some facial injuries.

Because of this, both people and dogs have believed he is an aggressive dog, however staff have given accounts showing this could not be further from the truth.

They have said the pup is a lovely, high energy boy who loves to walk and play with his toys.

Meanwhile, he walks very well on his lead and is fine around other dogs provided they do not encroach on his personal space.

That being said, Banjo has been known to chase larger vehicles, so staff recommend he be walked in quieter areas.

As he has been a hunting dog, he will always need to be on a lead and can never be let off.

Staff have described Banjo as "a cuddle monster" who loves, and deserves, a good snuggle.

The centre have said he must live in a household with no other pets or dogs as he can be possessive with his toys, and any children present must be at least 16 years of age and be dog savvy.

Lulu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Approximately 10 years

The Northern Echo:

This is Lulu, a "larger than life" character who always puts a smile on the face of Felledge's staff.

Unfortunatley, Lulu came into RSPCA care due to her owner being admitted to hospital so they could no longer care for her.

A very social dog, Lulu gets on well with other dogs and walks well around them, and loves to say hello to whoever she passes.

She loves her toys and enjoys a good game of tug of war.

With this being said, Lulu is a bit excitable and new owners will have to be careful as some dogs may not appreciate this.

Well-trained and clever, this canine knows many tricks and will sit on command, and is very food-motivated when it comes to learning new commands.

The centre have said she is looking for an adult-only home, where she is the only other pet so she can settle in and have all the love and affection she crave.

If you think you could be Lulu's new best friend and provide her a forever home, look into the link below.

All of the dogs in this article can be found here.