SAFETY AND WELFARE
The welfare and safety of the dogs, the young people and the staff will be the number one priority throughout the entire project. If at any time during the project it is felt that a dog poses a danger to staff or one of the youths, then that dog will be taken from the project and put into one of Moorlands Dog Rescue’s regular foster homes who are trained to work with reactive dogs. Similarly, if it was felt that one of the dogs was not coping with the project or environment for another reason, Moorlands Dog Rescue would transfer them into a full time foster environment.
An independent welfare officer will conduct a review of the project fortnightly. This person will be an external, impartial, objective animal professional with no ties or interest in the project. They will be analysing/reviewing the dog’s mental and physical welfare, checking the environment and giving feedback via a report of their findings. This review will be organised by Moorlands Dog Rescue and published for public viewing.
Isaac, due to be killed in a council pound before moving to Moorlands Dog Rescue in 2017.
During the project, there will be a minimum of two behaviourists, as well as a coordinator, trained education officers from HMYOI Werrington and other HMYOI staff members. Dogs will never be left unattended with the young people at any time and the dogs will only be accessible to the young people during the 6 hour day.
The young people eligible to work on the project will be ones who have demonstrated a determination or willingness to change their behaviour in a positive manner. We believe that a position within this project will be so coveted, that the young people who secure a place on the project will really want to stay there. If there is any aversive treatment to the dogs at any time, then that young person will not be allowed to participate on the project any further without exception. That being said, the young people will be set up to succeed and will understand before they meet their dogs about positive reinforcement, positive handling of dogs and managing frustration, since this is a key part of their learning on how to train dogs.
In their learning diaries, they will be asked to express what they found frustrating or difficult about the experience, and the rehabilitation staff will help them to deal with their feelings and explore alternative ways of dealing with their emotions and frustrations.