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RSPCA West Dorset Branch 

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RSPCA West Dorset Branch is a separate charity affiliated to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).  We cover the towns of Dorchester, Bridport, Weymouth, Portland, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Sherborne and Axminster (Devon) as well as all the surrounding villages and hamlets.  Our main priorities are the welfare and rehoming of local animals.  We raise ours funds within the Branch boundaries and all money raised is spent within the area.  We are responsible for "Taylors Animal Rehoming Centre" at Kingston Maurward, Dorchester.

If you wish to report an Animal Emergency or have concerns regarding the welfare of an animal please telephone 0300 1234 999.  Please also call this number if you need to have an unowned or wild animal collected by an RSPCA Animal Collection Officer. 


We are not responsible for the contents of external websites or the availability of linked pages.  Inclusion of a link to an external website does not imply any endorsement by or affiliation with the RSPCA of that site, its content, any product or service its operators may provide.

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Small Animals and Birds for Rehoming

Cats and kittens

Rabbits & Guinea Pigs


Other small animals & birds

Below you will find details of the assorted small animals we currently have in need of homes.  For full details of the adoption process, please click here.

ANIMALS LAST UPDATED.... 15th September 2021


We are open by appointment only from 12th April - please do not visit Taylors without making an appointment

Please CLICK HERE for details of the Adoption Process and to fill out our online Adoption form


Hi my name is Lauren, and I am the Animal Care Assistant who looks after the Small Animals at our Centre.

These are the animals in my care this week.  Please give us a call on 01305 259672 or visit the Centre at the above times if you are interested in any.

Rats require a cage floor area of 0.56 sqaure metres / 6 square foot per rat with multiple levels for climbing.

Gerbils and mice require half the area of rats.    Adult rats do not generally mix well if introduced to others.

Adult gerbils should not be mixed and existing pairs should not be separated.


5 x male mice aged approx. 2 - 4 months old. These boys can either go as pairs, a group of 3 or all 5 together. They will need confident handling but are used to being handled. Very sweet boys.
HENRY is a sweet friendly boy who loves eating his greens and pecking away in the grass. He now has his new friend PHYLLIS; she is very inquisitive and loves to be nosey. They get on really well and Henry follows Phyllis everywhere.

 If you are interested then please fill a form and let us know.

Female mice are now available for rehoming, they can be available as pairs or groups of 3+. They will need confident handling. If you would like anymore information please fill in one of the forms and we can get back to you with more info.
  Details of small animals in need of homes will be added as soon as we reopen
  Details of small animals in need of homes will be added as soon as we reopen


Ex Battery Hen and Ex Commercial "Free Range" Hens Information


Thank you for considering adopting one of 40 million hens currently producing commercial eggs in this country.

The following is a guide of what to expect if you decide to take on some of our hens for their retirement.

Age - Your hens will be approximately one year old. This is the time they would ordinarily go for slaughter. At this age, they will have laid around 300 eggs. They will still readily lay, and as a general rule you will get an egg every other day per chicken, although some lay very regularly each day. You will see that egg quality HUGELY improves over time!

Health - They can look fairly threadbare for the first few weeks / months! However they will have almost complete feather re-growth in time. Caged hens can very occasionally develop fractures of their wings / toes / legs when they get moved around, and despite every effort to ensure they are fit to be rehomed, your hen MAY require veterinary treatment soon after adoption.  The Ex free range birds aren't so prone to this and can move quite quickly, so be prepared!  We can be dealing with large volumes of birds on rescue days, and sometimes a poorly bird could slip through the process, although this is very rare.

Your New Hens! - Your hens will be slightly shell-shocked (excuse the pun!) for a few days after adoption, they have spent all of their lives in tiny cages or in large flocks and when you take them home it will be the first time they have had space, felt grass beneath their feet, and seen the sky. But DON’T WORRY – it is amazing how quickly their instincts return, and they will be scratching around and sunbathing with their wings stretched out before you know it!

Life Expectancy - There is no guarantee how long a rescue hen will live. Some may only live for a few weeks – however, if these weeks are spent in the fresh air being able to stretch their wings we feel they are luckier than a lot of other hens. On average they will live for a further 2-3 years.

If you decide to proceed with adopting some of our hens, you will be given a ‘Caring for Rescue Hens’ leaflet, which givens you more in-depth information. You can also visit the British Hen Welfare Trust website at

Chicken Accommodation Sizes

The MINIMUM inside/overnight accommodation size is approximately 1½ sq ft PER BIRD, therefore;

  • A 10 x 8 ft (80 sq.ft) shed will accommodate 50 chickens

  • A 8 x 6 ft (48 sq.ft) shed will accommodate 30 - 35 chickens

  • A 8 x 4 ft (32 sq.ft) shed will accommodate 20 - 25 chickens

  • A 7 x 5 ft (35 sq.ft) shed will accommodate 20 - 25 chickens

  • A 6 x 4 ft (24 sq.ft) shed will accommodate 12 - 15 chickens

  • A 4 x 2 ft (8 sq.ft) hen house will accommodate 4 - 6 chickens

The MINIMUM HEIGHT permitted would be 2ft – with a Roosting Perch @ 1ft from the ground.

The MINIMUM outside accommodation size is approximately 2 sq ft PER BIRD.

If there is a garden or paddock that the chickens will have daily access to then that is great!

If the chickens are to be kept in a coop/arc then the measurements of the coop/arc will be calculated for how many hens this will be suitable for. i.e. a 4 x 2 ft coop/arc =8 sq ft which can accommodate 4 chickens.

PLEASE NOTE that these sizes are GUIDELINES and there will always be an element of flexibility providing good welfare standards can be maintained. 

Here are some of the hens that we have rescued before, in their luxurious chicken house from Flytes o Fancy, kindly donated by RSPCA Poole & East Dorset Branch.

We do rescues throughout the year in association with the British Hen Welfare Trust, these can be ex- bats or commercial free range hens.  We run waiting lists of people who are looking to adopt hens, and carry out home visits before the hens are released.

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