Submitted by Steve on 14:27, 3rd Jun, 2020 | 0

We thought you might like to know a little more about our team during lock down due to Covid-19. Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager recently asked Lorna Chadwick the GSPCA Animal Welfare Officer how she her current thoughts.

Lorna Prince “I've been working at the GSPCA for 14 years in the role of Welfare Manager over seeing cruelty complaints, dog rehoming and training & behaviour.  Once the first case of Covid-19 had been confirmed, and even before the Island went into lock down the GSPCA took the decision to protect the staff and our essential services by suspending all activities not related to animal rescue, welfare and emergencies. To reduce the number of people on site a small team started using their homes as their base from which to work and I was one of them.

Obviously animal welfare is still a concern, even during a public health crisis. My being based at home has not changed the response to welfare complaints and concerns, apart from the obvious addition of social distancing and PPE. Thankfully we already had a robust system in place within the GSPCA but also with other agencies and the Authorities which allows us all to do a lot of background information gathering to assess how best to approach each concern raised. The biggest change has been the social distancing and ensuring our safety on visits to assess animals. I won't lie there is a certain amount of anxiety when you are visiting an unknown property to see people at this time. Even with PPE you question whether the people you are going to visit are well, shielding, infected, symptomatic. Working with owners to help their pets at a distance is hard, assessing animals is also challenging as you worry about transference of the virus. We have to work within the strict public health guidelines and it is a difficult but animal welfare cannot be forgotten at this time and we can only do our best. while keeping ourselves safe.   

We were lucky that most of our rescue dogs were placed with new families before lock down. We were also very lucky that we had a lot of experienced homes waiting for the remaining dogs which took a lot of pressure off us with regards assessing new families and carrying out home checks. Seb one of our kennel team, who is also a rehomer and experienced with dog training has been amazing and we have worked together assessing the dogs, identifying the most suitable homes and then carrying out introductions and the handing over the new dogs to their families all while adhering to the public health advice. Technology has meant we have been able to offer continued support and advice to the families as they settle in.  

While we have all adapted to the new way of doing things it will be nice to be back on site and be able to interact with team members; sharing the same space for a catch up over a cup of tea; we are a sociable lot. For one I'm really looking forward to restarting our puppy and dog training classes.  I really miss the interaction with the dogs and their owners; and while we are still able to help remotely you just can't replace a puppy snuggle.

I look forward to a new dawn at the Shelter once we are able to resume all of our activities and thank everyone for their support; we really need you right now. Stay Safe and well."

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “Lorna is a real star and the Sunday just gone we would normally both be running around orgainising our Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday which was so sad it didn’t take place.”

“The team have been fantastic and I am very proud of everyone working so hard through such difficult times.”

“Even though we are in phase 4 we are taking an extremely cautious approach as we carry out so many essential services for the island, so Lorna and I are still very much working from home to help with social distancing.”

“It certainly isn’t easy for anyone and we have had to change so many practices at the GSPCA.”

“The main challenge is raising the funds as we aren’t able to run our normal events or charity shop and with only a few emergency boarders we have faced a real struggle to raise the £2,000 a day to run the Shelter so we launched our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal .”

“We have had some amazing donations towards this much needed appeal and if you would like to donate you can do so by calling 01481 257261, by post or online via our web page .”

“If you donate a minimum donation of £5 during June you will be put into a draw for a Sterling Silver “Gerry” Giraffe charm and chain kindly donated by Becky Rowe.”

“Another great way to supporting is by donating each month and to find out details please visit this web page .”

“Without your support the GSPCA couldn’t achieve so much caring and helping over 3000 animals every year.”

“Other staff will let you know how they are doing very soon.”

“We thank everyone for their support and understanding during these difficult days but to help show your support to the GSPCA not only can you donate you can also #PetorateToCelebrate .”

“Petorate to Celebrate is a fun way for everyone to show their support to animal charities across the British Isles and Ireland and with this idea born in Guernsey we would love to see everyone get involved.”

“To find out more on #PetorateToCelebrate please visit .”

By post please make cheques payable to 'GSPCA’ and post to GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD.

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if you are over 65, have an underlying health condition or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and only visit us if your visit is essential but before doing so please call us on 01481 257261 or email [email protected] before your trip to the GSPCA to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

For lots more ideas on how you can support the shelter and the animals in our care then please visit our fundraising page

To see a list of our volunteer induction evenings which we hold each month and for more information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on trips, talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261


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