Your Responsibility to Animals in your care under Welfare
The information below is applicable when animals are kept in animal shelters:
Whether you keep animals as pets or for other reasons, you should consider the welfare/wellbeing of
animals. Recognise the type of animal(s) you intend to keep & their requirements such as:
- The costs of keeping animals include feeding & vet fees.
- What sort of & the quantity of food they require
- What size & type of accommodation the animal will need
- Pet insurance is vital as this will cover most health problems. Note:
the cost of insurance may depend on the health, age & the sort of pet(s) you intend on keeping.
Consider their freedom requirements:
Freedom from hunger & thirst
express normal behaviour
pain, injury & disease
Freedom from fear & distress
Why are animals brought into Animal Welfare Centres such as, RSPCA & how does this
affect their health & wellbeing?
Animals are brought into centres like RSPCA for a number of reasons ranging from:
1) Cruelty & or neglect. This means owners might have to attend court to determine what & if any
action will be taken depending on what evidence there is to prosecute offenders against. Animals that have suffered cruelty
come under “Welfare”. This can be a long drawn process & animals may be kept at a centre
for a prolonged time pending enquiry. When a final decision is reached in court, this will usually shorten the length of time
that an animal will spend at RSPCA or other centres alike.
2) Animals found straying & waiting to be claimed or re-homed
3) A change in circumstances for owners where they can no longer keep pet(s) These changes can range from,
Behavioural problems of their pet
Moving house or emigrating
Owners starting a family
Death of previous owner
The Disadvantage to Keeping Animals Confined in Centres such as RSPCA:
A change in environment can
be stressful, confusing to an animal. This is quite common in dogs as they can develop, Kennel Stress where a dog will display
discontented behaviour like, jumping around in the kennel, run round in circles, become destructive to their bedding &
toys. Constant barking is often a sign of discontent/stress. When a dog displays its frustration by barking, this may give
potential new owners the impression a dog is aggressive when this is not usually so. Therefore, such a dog will spend longer
in kennels & this could cause further distress. Dogs have been known to damage their tails in kennels from stress.
I remember a greyhound cared
for called “Tommy” who damaged his tail from being discontented in his kennel at RSPCA. This resulted in
him having a small section of the tail removed. It was later discovered by the vet that the whole tail had split so it was
decided to amputate the remaining portion of his tail.
As for greyhounds & other
breeds alike, they may spend longer in kennels, as many people think greyhounds & other similar breeds need more exercise
when this is clearly just a myth. Such dogs don’t require any more exercise than your pampered poodle, mongrel
or other breeds. It is true that greyhounds & other breeds alike run faster but they only run for a short time span. In
fact, many owners of greyhounds have noted that their dog is very lazy in the home. Note: Racing greyhounds only race until
they are up to five years of age depending on the individual dog. Why can a greyhound run so fast? Such dogs have the ability
to run so fast as they have what’s known as, the “Double Suspension Gallop” meaning the front legs go out
all the way directly in front of them & the back legs go all the way behind. This is made possible as when a greyhound
is running at such high speed, all four legs lift completely of the ground. This is relating to their back structure.
Note: Greyhounds & other
breeds alike were originally use for “coursing” meaning,
to hunt, chase & catch hare. Other breeds alike are the Saluki, Whippet & Lutcher. These breeds are in the category
Lost & found: Animals that
are found straying are often brought into animal shelters in the hope the owner will contact the centre to collect. Dogs are
sometimes brought in by council dog wardens, police or sometimes a concerned member of the public may find a stray. The animal
will be checked to see if they have a chip inserted that will hold vital information such as the name & address of the
owner. The stray is likely to undergo a medical & behaviour assessment. Note:
It is law that an animal such as a dog or cat has to be held as a stray for upto 7 days before being put up for re-homing
if the owner doesn’t claim their lost pet. If the owner can be traced & they arrive to collect their pet, they will
need to bring proof of identity & proof of ownership of the stray. There will usually be a fee that has to be paid before
they can reclaim their pet. The charge will cover kennel costs, food that has been provided & other handling charges may
be added depending on circumstances.
Reasons for keeping animals confined & restricting exercise:
An animal being infirm, elderly, have an illness or disease that restricts their daily movement. The
risk of "Zoonosis" may occur (illness or disease being passed to other species). If the illness or disease is not a
Zoonosis, this means that it is confined to the same specie. Still take the same precaution when exercising, as an ill animal
could come in to contact with other animals of the same specie.
(See more on medical info on the page,
In sickness & Health)