CHARITY CALLS ON MPS TO TAKE THE LEAD ON DANGEROUS DOGS
Dogs Trust launches policy document on irresponsible dog ownership
Dogs Trust this week called on MPs to join the charity in tackling irresponsible dog ownership at its annual House of Commons reception hosted by Jim Fitzpatrick MP.
Dogs Trust unveiled a stunning photographic display alongside a policy summary, depicting the work carried out by the charity within communities to help reduce the problems associated with irresponsible dog ownership. The event provided a platform for MPs to talk to Dogs Trust staff about the work carried out on the ground to encourage owners to train, neuter and microchip their dogs,.
The launch of ‘Taking The Lead, Tackling Irresponsible Dog Ownership’ follows the government’s recent announcement on irresponsible dog ownership. Dogs Trust has urged the government to seize this opportunity to introduce meaningful reform rather than tinkering with existing dangerous dog legislation.
Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, said:
“Dogs Trust works with over 300 local authorities to tackle the root causes of irresponsible dog ownership. We know from working in affected communities that this is a complex social issue; one that requires a multi-agency approach to target harder to reach groups. As the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, we believe that we’re in the best position to promote change by engaging with dog owners, schools, dog wardens, young offenders, housing associations and the police. We hope that MPs will support the work that we are doing by pushing ahead with better and more effective legislation, which holds dog owners to account and better protects the public”
Summary of Dogs Trust work in local communities:
- Since 2010, Dogs Trust has been working on-the-ground with urban dog owners in London to tackle the issue of so-called “status” dogs. The City Dogs Project is a pioneering scheme that targets young urban dog owners by appealing to them on their level. The City Dogs Team has so far carried out over 1,500 microchippings and issued over 2,000 neutering vouchers in Greater London. Between May 2010 and December 2011, 135 City Dog events took place; with over 50 dog owners asking for free one-to-one dog training sessions with our City Dogs trainer.
- Dogs Trust also offers select young offenders in London the option to work with its Training & Behaviour Advisers. Through Youth Offender Training teams, they can use their reparation hours to socialise and train dogs waiting to be rehomed.
- For years Dogs Trust has been working with vets to provide subsidised or free neutering for dog owners living on means-tested benefits in disadvantaged areas. The charity currently works with over 1,000 vets across the country.
- Dogs Trust offers free microchips to every local authority and housing association in the UK. The charity trains local authority staff to microchip and can even provide them with free scanners.
- Responsible Dog Ownership Events - These highly popular events are organised in partnership with councils and local Housing Associations. They provide a range of advice and leaflets about all aspects of dog ownership plus neutering vouchers and on-site access to free microchipping and low-cost preventative vet care.
- “Estate Days” - Working with local authorities, Dogs Trust identifies areas where irresponsible dog ownership is most acute. By visiting these areas and offering leaflets, dog ownership advice, free microchipping and £10 HealthCheck Vouchers, the charity has reduced the numbers of dogs being abandoned on the streets.
- For those areas where dog abandonment is highest, Dogs Trust offers local authorities free neutering vouchers which can be given to those dog owners who need them most.
- Since 2003, Dogs Trust has been providing free workshops to primary schools across most of the UK. The charity now has 13 full-time education officers who conduct around 3,000 classroom presentations a year. Education officers are briefed to target schools in communities with particularly bad social problems.