So how do we feel about licensing of rescue organisations?(5 Posts)
Thought you might be interested in a report that was launched at a conference yesterday. It proposes that in Wales, rescues (known rather formallly as Animal Welfare Establishments) should be licensed. You can read the report here
I've got very mixed feelings about this - firstly I think it's important to differentiate between those rescues that specialise in wildlife when a UK wide licence is probably appropriate (but there's already a lot of legislation, some quite complex) and those dealing with companion animals like dogs, cats and horses.
The report proposes a licence granted by local Councils - currently the same local Councils who are doing such a good job with our puppy farms - so not filled with confidence.
What are the views of the Doghouse? Both as adopters - would this help you be more confident about choosing a rescue dog? If you are involved in rescue, is this more bureacratic form filling and a chance for the RSPCA to act as policeman to smaller rescues?
My own preference would be two fold - firstly for an end to the culture of omerta in the rescue world about some of the bad apples and secondly a voluntary scheme of accreditation. But it's a complex picture and there are many aspects. Love to hear what others think.
I think some sort of accreditaion would be a good thing, there are some really awful 'rescues' out there and not just for dogs.
Given the licensing of breeders/puppy farms and how that is managed, I really doubt local councils are the way to go and I suspect this is just another money making scheme.
Its a difficult one.
I would love to see the shite 'rescues' dealt with. The ones that don't do their job correctly and the ones that don't obey the laws of the land (ie charity registration once they have reached the £5000 mark).
However i would worry how it was going to be carried out, who would police it and how. If its the local councils then how would that work with a rescue like ourselves which covers the whole of the UK and has foster homes all over the UK. The paperwork is not a problem, yes it would take more time but so does all the rest of it.
My rescue recently rescued a dog from a 'rescue' in Wales. The dog had been injured and had been left untreated. Ourselves and our vet was horrified by the blatant cruelty and the RSPCA are now involved. I would do anything to close places like that down, they are not rescuing animals, they are just creating more suffering.
I think there's a lot of confusion about what is and isn't really a rescue, and it would help to have something that the public understood to tell them that a place is a good place to go to. But whatever is done, I think it would have to be in tandem with something about puppy farms, otherwise puppy farmers will just try and pass themselves off as rescues (or have a nice pipeline going from one to another). The fact that there are so many puppy farms doesn't give me much hope that regulation will be successful. There are certainly 'rescues' that don't do things right.
There's an interesting paper just out from Australia about perceptions of rescue dogs. I think it would be useful for the general public to know more about how dogs are assessed prior to adoption and what they can expect from a good rescue. I don't know if that's a regulation thing or an education thing.
I'm really impressed by some of the Dogs Trust education programmes and would like to see much more along these lines. I've referred LOTS of new dog owning parents now to their PAWS scheme & pre-ownership workshops(pairing ppet with ASD child) and am just beginning to see some very happy results. I adore happy endings so am over the moon. Their work locally with an antisocial behavior team is also making real inroads to stopping dogs becoming rescues in the first place.
I'd hate to see rescuers too tied up in paperwork to actually tend to the dogs. Part of my reasoning for this comes from the increasing paperwork involved in organising children's events for charities in a voluntary capacity - there came a point where I had to refuse to help because of the increasing demands on my time. That's actually quite an upsetting position for a volunteer to find themselves in iyswim.
On the other hand I'd be all for a voluntary accreditation scheme. Ties in nicely with education. I was shocked at the wide quality variations in "rescues" when we went hunting for our last dog. They are NOT all these wonderful altruistic organisations and should not be treated as such. Poor rescues are what put the public off helping needy dogs and that needs to be acknowledged.
Regulation for the sake of it just pushes up costs - not a good thing for organisations run by volunteers on shoestring donated budgets.
Clamp down hard on puppy farming - including Imports, and then focus on education at all levels. Oh and actually USE existing laws re animal welfare to prevent neglect and cruelty.
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