An animal rescue charity was slammed today after it refused to let a pensioner adopt a dog – because he was too old.
Retired headteacher Don Evans, 71, who was awarded an MBE for services to the community, volunteered to take in an abandoned lurcher earlier this month.
But he was stunned when the Animal Lifeline charity in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., rejected his offer.
Astonishingly, the charity claimed Don would not be able to offer the mutt “at least ten years of active life”.
The Don blasted the charity – branding them “extremely rude”.
He said: “I was rather annoyed about the rudeness from the charity. I have a private garden and I live near fields.
“They had the audacity to question my age. I am disgusted by the way I was dealt with.
“It is the type of breed I wanted. It’s extremely friendly.
“I want to give a dog a good home and it’s extremely rude to take that approach. I have complained bitterly since.
“It’s not surprising that they don’t have homes for all of their dogs.”
Don, who lives in Longton, had offered to take in one of six lurchers which were dumped in a car in Leek, Staffs., earlier this year.
He called the charity and explained that he had plenty of time to care for the dog since had had retired as a headteacher and school governor.
But staff insisted Don did not fit their criteria and have since insisted they pride themselves on “giving a dog a home for life”.
Nick Fletcher, a spokesman for Animal Lifeline, yesterday (Mon) defended the decision to refuse Don a dog.
He said: “We have the bulk of our dogs from people whose circumstances have changed, died, relocated or, more commonly, they have had to move to rented accommodation which doesn’t allow pets.
“The reason we do get complaints is because people don’t understand how we work and some people do get a little resentful to be told the type of dog they should have.”
Pat Lawton, one of the charity’s trustees, added: “Lurchers are very beautiful family dogs, but they are escape artists that are attracted to wildlife.
“I tried to explain to Don that we have many wonderful dogs for him. However lurchers want at least ten years of active live.
“The reason we didn’t go ahead was because we pride ourselves on giving a dog a home for life.
“The dog is chosen to suit the owner. I have to justify that dog’s needs.”