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The GSPCA Welfare Department is made up of the Animal Welfare Manager and the Welfare and Education Officer. The Department is ultimately responsible for animal welfare issues on and off site, canine behaviour and training, the rehoming of the Shelter dogs and the provision of education programmes to the Islands’ schools and Community groups.
Animal Welfare Complaints
The GSPCA’s main aim is to prevent cruelty to animals and help those at risk of cruelty and neglect. Every day we receive calls from members of the public who are concerned for the welfare of an animal. These calls are our priority and as such welfare staff will drop everything to respond to such a call. More often than not we are able to resolve any problems that we find and can put the caller’s mind at rest but there are occasions when further action is required.
We rely on the general public to provide us with important information regarding animal welfare within the Community, especially in situations where an animal may be at risk, and as such we must act professionally and with discretion. Any call to the Shelter involving a concern about an animal is dealt with in the strictest of confidence and at no time are the details of a complaint or complainant discussed with third parties.
What happens when we receive a complaint?
- The details of the concern are logged on a complaint form. The more information we receive the better and while some people would rather not tell us who they are contact details of the caller are extremely important. If we are unable to locate an animal in distress they will be the only lead we have and it can mean the difference between us being able to help an animal and having to abandon what may be a very serious investigation.
- A member of staff will locate the animals to assess the situation and gather all relevant information. We always carry an identification card and will show you who we are. Our aim is to collect evidence and investigate the circumstances and condition of any animal before making a judgment about a person or situation. We know from experience that some animals that look neglected and ‘starved’ are often just old and infirm and receiving treatment from a vet.
If a member of our team has been to your property and you are not home they will always leave a card to inform you of our visit and who to contact. If you do not find a card then it was not a member of the GSPCA’s welfare team that visited your property.
- Education or prosecution. We need to determine whether an offence has been committed or whether it is a case of someone simply needing our help and support. In the majority of cases education is key and more often than not some help and advice can greatly improve the ability of the owner to care for their pet and therefore improve the quality of life of the animal. If however we believe that an offence has been committed we will investigate the matter further.
- We will always complete follow up visits where necessary, to ensure that our advice has been taken on board and to reassess the animal(s). If we find that there has been no improvement in the animal’s circumstances and quality of life we will move to take further action.
We will always show identification
We will always leave a calling card to inform you of our visit and who to contact.
We do not behave in a threatening manner when investigating cases of cruelty.
We do not make visits at unsociable hours unless we have been asked to attend by the Police or another Agency.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE ON AN ANIMAL PLEASE CONTACT THE SHELTER ON 257261
Behaviour and Training
Welfare staff work with all of the Shelter departments monitoring and managing the behaviour of animals in our care; providing environmental enrichment and reducing stress. It is vitally important that we continually observe the behaviour of the Shelter animals whether boarding or looking for a home, as a change is behaviour is often the first indication that they are not well or need a little more 1-2-1 attention.
The Welfare Manager is also responsible for the behaviour and training of dogs on and off site, including dog training classes which are held 3-4 times a week. As an animal welfare charity it is important that we do not at any time compromise an animal’s mental or physical welfare. As such all of the training that we undertake uses positive reinforcement methods only.
“If there is a kinder alternative why do it any other way”
The GSPCA does not offer ‘residential training’ to Boarding animals as we believe that the most important aspect of any training or behaviour modification programme is the owner – dog bond.
Rehoming of Dogs and home checks
We regularly receive dogs in that are looking for new homes and the department is responsible for all aspects of rehoming the GSPCA dogs which includes:
- Receiving the dog into the Shelter
- Gathering information about the dog such as its behaviour and veterinary history
- Assessing the dog’s temperament
- Setting the rehoming criteria for each dog e.g. is it suitable to live with children, can it live with cats
- Receiving application forms and contacting prospective owners
- Introducing the dog to the potential new owner
- Carrying out the home check for each dog
- Supporting the new owners through the trial period
- Carrying out the post home check and finalising the adoption
The GSPCA is keen to promote animal welfare through education and as such visits as many schools and Community groups as possible to talk about our work and the roles animals play in our lives. We are also happy for groups to visit the Shelter and see our work first hand by prior arrangement.
We believe that by helping people to develop an understanding of how to provide for their pets and become aware of the wildlife around them they develop a greater sense of (social) responsibility and empathy with all living creatures, including each other.
We are keen to reach out to all ages and Community groups and would be happy to tailor our visits and tours as required.
If you have any questions or ideas you would like to discuss or you would like to book a talk or tour then please feel free to contact us.
As well as the responsibilities outlined above the department also carries out many other vital roles with in, and on behalf of, the Society.
- Carrying out home checks for the States Housing Department
- Carrying out home checks for UK Rescue Charities
- Acting as experts on Welfare and Behaviour Panels
- Liaising with other Organisations and Agencies on all matters related to Animal Welfare and Behaviour.
- Fundraising initiatives
- The annual GSPCA Magazine
- Promotion of the GSPCA and its work in the Community
If you would like further information about any of the work we do please contact the Shelter on 257261 and speak to either Lorna Prince or Emma Trousdale.