Thinking of getting a new friend in the New Year? Then why not rescue one....

Abandoned, neglected and abused. Every animal who ends up in animal charity the RSPCA’s care has its own unique story – most of them heartbreaking.

But these 12 pets all have one thing in common (as well as their festive names!) – they’re all hoping their Christmas wish comes true and they get to start a new year in a new home.

Every day the RSPCA investigates 400 cruelty complaints and rescue 320 animals.

And it has hundreds more dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, rabbits, small furries, birds and reptiles looking for homes, so if you think you could take on an animal, visit to find the purr-fect pet.

* Jingles: Dash through the snow this Christmas with skewbald yearling Jingles who has spent a year in RSPCA care. The pony was found abandoned, emaciated and full of worms and lice. It’s taken a year of TLC from dedicated staff to nurse him back to health and he’s now ready for a new home. He is expected to make 13 hands high and is looking for an experienced horse owner. For more details about this Christmas miracle, visit the website or contact the RSPCA’s east Kent horse rehoming by calling 0300 123 8877.

* Holly & Ivy: Beautiful bunny sisters Holly and Ivy are hoping their Christmassy names will help them find a fur-ever home this winter. The lop-eared rabbits are devoted to each other and would like to find a home to call their own which they can share. If you would like to find out more about this gorgeous duo, visit the RSPCA website or call Stubbington Ark by calling 01329 667541.

* Tinsel: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and festive feline Tinsel is hoping this will be the year she gets what she’s always wanted – a home of her own. The two-year-old puss was a stray with four kittens when she was injured and rescued by the RSPCA. She had to have part of her tail removed but is now doing well. She’d like a home where she is the only pet and would like to have access to the outside world. She loves people so will make a wonderful companion. If you could offer her a home, call South Godstone on 0300 123 0741.

* Sherry: Just like her festive drink namesake, Sherry is a sweet treat. This nine-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross was rehomed by the RSPCA six years ago but returned to the charity’s Essex South West branch when her owner was taken into care. She is very affectionate, easy-going and friendly so should be easy to rehome. She is well trained and walks well on the lead but would like to be the only pet in the home. Visit the RSPCA website or call 0300 123 4999.

* Mary, Joseph and JC: This trio of kittens were born in a stable. Well, maybe not quite, but they were born on a farm. The 10-week-olds are looking for new homes individually with new owners who can bring them on and help them grow in confidence around people. For more information about the kittens, call the RSPCA’s Northamptonshire branch on 07840 926122.

* Twinkle: Pretty tabby cat Twinkle could brighten up the home for the right owner this Christmas. The two-year-old domestic shorthair crossbreed is quite shy and independent so will take time to settle into a new environment. Once she has had time to get to know her new owner, she’ll make a wonderful companion. For more information on Twinkle, visit the RSPCA website or call 0300 123 0704.

* Robin: Little Robin is a handsome chestnut Welsh pony who was very nervous when he first arrived at the RSPCA’s Lockwood Centre for Horses & Donkeys. The yearling, who currently stands at 11.3hh but is expected to reach 13hh once fully grown, is now much more confident and is happy to be caught, groomed and have his feet picked out. Visit the RSPCA website or call Lockwood on 0300 123 0720.

* Drummer: Could you offer a home to your very own little drummer boy this Christmas? This beautiful tabby and white puss was found as a badly injured stray. He’d suffered a broken pelvis and ruptured cruciate ligament but has healed well after lots of TLC and is now ready for a new home. The four-year-old is very affectionate and would like a quiet home with no other cats. For more information on Drummer, call the RSPCA’s Northamptonshire branch on 07840 926122.

* Sprout: Many people hate sprouts but it’d be hard to dislike this handsome boy. The 18-month-old piebald cob is expected to reach 13hh and has the potential to become a brilliant all-round ride when he is older - if he goes to the right home. More information about Sprout – and his horsey friend, Spud – by calling 0300 123 8877.

* Frank and Myrrh: Young guinea pigs Frank and Myrrh were found abandoned behind some bins. They were rescued by a member of the public and taken into RSPCA care where they are doing well. They can be a little worried but will settle given time to get used to their surroundings. They love to chatter away to each other and will make wonderful pets. Call South Godstone Animal Centre on 0300 123 0741.

* Star: Little Russian hamster Star is hoping she’ll make someone’s Christmas shine this year. She’s looking for her happy ending after coming into the RSPCA’s care following concerns for her welfare. She is very friendly and likes being handled once she gets to know you. She’d like a good-sized cage with lots of toys to play with. If you could give her a home, please visit the RSPCA website or call Halifax, Huddersfield & District Animal Centre on 01422 365628.

* Snowdrop: Six-month-old gerbil Snowdrop would love a new home for a new year. She is a little unsure of being handled but likes to play with her toys and dig around in her cage. She’ll make a wonderful family pet. If you think you could give her a home, visit the website or call Halifax, Huddersfield & District Animal Centre on 01422 365628.

RSPCA chief vet James Yeates says: “It’s so rewarding to give a previously mistreated or abandoned animal a chance at a happy life. Every animal which we rehome comes with a story. And although each individual may not be perfect, they will be for you.

“But we would urge anyone thinking of buying a pet – whatever the time of year – to consider the costs and long-term commitment associated with caring for an animal.”

For more about the work of the RSPCA, visit