CAN you find a space in your home (and your heart) to foster one of nine American bulldog puppies this Christmas?

The RSPCA animal centre at Ashley Heath has launched an urgent appeal to find foster carers who can help offer the 18-week-old puppies a loving temporary home.

The four boys and five girls - called Major, Millie, Jude, Kara, Ludo, Jenson, Melissa, Maple, and Flint - were born in the care of the animal welfare charity after their mum was rescued by an RSPCA inspector.

Sheila Vernon, centre manager at RSPCA Ashley Heath, explained the role of a puppy foster carer.

“Are you able to open up your home to a puppy in need? We’re desperate for people who can offer time and accommodation to one of these delightful American bulldog puppies.

“Sadly we’ve struggled to find foster carers for them so we’re appealing to dog lovers who can lend a hand in giving them a great start in life to get in touch.

“Foster carers do hugely important voluntary work for the RSPCA; they provide a lifeline to animals and are vital for our animal welfare work.

“To become a fosterer all you need to do is get in touch and we can talk through what it involves and then carry out a home visit.

“These pups can’t be rehomed with other dogs, or children under ten years of age. Foster carers also need to be able to return the dogs to the centre for regular vet checks and treatments,” she added.

Many animals who find themselves at the RSPCA Ashley Heath centre have been rescued by RSPCA inspectors, and when they come to to the centre they are often nervous of strangers.

The team spends weeks, sometimes months, looking after them and preparing them for a second chance in life.

At any one time the centre, located near Ringwood, cares for more than 180 animals. So far in 2018 staff have rehomed 171 dogs, 282 cats, 35 rabbits and 156 other small animals.

All necessary equipment, food and veterinary care will be supplied to those caring for the puppies. Foster carers will also be required to attend puppy classes, which will be paid for by the charity. For more information email