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This consultancy was established to improve animal welfare worldwide and to meet the growing needs of today's animal care professionals. We have expert consultants specialising in key areas including cat population management, stray dog control, farm animal welfare, transport animals, project and campaign strategy. The Associates have provided external consultancy to the farming, welfare and veterinary industries in the UK and abroad. Our high levels of experience and qualifications make us particularly well placed to give expert advice. We work with you to help your organisation to manage and complete projects within your time-frames and budgets.
With over 25 years experience working with and rehabilitating numerous species of animals, Miranda's mission is to provide practical training, solutions and advice (advocating compassion and highest standards) for those responsible for the care of stray, sick and unwanted animals.
Services include ...
Consultancy: Expert advice on animal welfare, specialising in shelter management for domestic and farm animals. 'Fresh eyes' can offer you the latest techniques and ideas to improve your services.
Mystery Shopper: Use this service to identify and reward excellent staff performance or highlight any failings in standard operating procedures or policies that could be resolved through change or refinement.
Project Management: Using well proven techniques, experience and common sense, we can help you to plan, manage and meet the objectives of your projects within your time frame and budget.
Public Relations: Using a great network of media, celebrity and animal welfare organisations, Miranda is able to use her positive relationships to help you to 'open doors' with your campaign, product or promotion.
Secretariat: Assistant to animal welfare executives and international organisations to carry out administrative, diary, conference and meeting management, liaison and co-ordination from our Surrey office.
Shelter Audits: Non evasive on site appraisal and written report evaluating everything from productivity to policy. Recommendations are developed to improve shelter operations, staff skills and animal care.
Training: Pro-active and innovative approaches to training including practical 'hands-on' opportunities and interactive workshops in all aspects of animal handling and shelter management.
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With over 3000 reviews of hundreds of UK rescues, Rescue Review is proving an incredibly powerful tool to monitor standards and practices (good AND bad) within rescue centres and other rehoming services. By completing a review, adopters provide current and interesting data that may not be forthcoming during an 'official' visit. Plans are afoot to analyse the data to develop benchmarks to allow monitoring in the future and hopefully - a survey of rescue organisations with the aim of identifying the numbers of animals (multi species) being dealt with. Stop by and take a look at the website. As always, your feedback is most welcome!www.RescueReview.co.uk
The Nelson ARK (New Zealand) is one of the growing animal welfare groups developing innovative animal assisted therapy programmes. I’m well acquainted with Pets As Therapy, Professor Paws, Paws for Progress but this was my first encounter with the ‘APART’ system. Animals, People And Rehabilitative Training provides young people (in need) with the opportunity to engage with rescue dogs helping them to learn compassion, empathy, respect and responsibility.
This Trust was founded in 2002. Qualified counselor and charity coordinator (Karen Howieson) had interests in both mental health and animal rights. She joined forces with teacher and mentor Susan Murray Rifici and incorporating Healing Species*
, a model was developed for troubled young people and otherwise unwanted rescue dogs. Sue Walsh dog trainer and behaviorist joined the ARK in 2012.
Four courses are held a year. Small groups of teenage students are referred (school counselors, social workers, mental health and support workers) to the eight-week course. During this time, students learn to train carefully matched rescue dogs. The aim is to get the dogs ‘adoption ready’ whilst the students learn about issues that may be affecting them – abuse, bullying etc. The dogs are brought to the ARK centre by their foster carers to take part in the training. The sessions teach students the value of patience, discipline and hard work. The young people learn co-operative and considerate ways of dealing with problems that may arise during the training which in turn, provide alternative coping strategies within their own lives.
The students are not allowed to adopt the dog they have been working with but are well aware that their input will increase the dogs chances of successful rehoming. I spoke to a youngster (Brenna) who had completed the course the previous year and had returned to help out. I asked her about the bond she had developed with the dog she had trained. She told me that she would have dearly loved to adopt her but was aware of the rules from the start. She felt that this policy had taught her that “we can’t always have what we want” and had shown her how to part with her canine friend in a positive way. If the eventual dog adopter agrees, students can retain some contact. On asking Brenna if she could describe her feelings about the course, in typical kiwi lingo, she replied “awesome!” She added that her self esteem and confidence had developed and now (as a competent dog owner herself), she was much more able to positively interact with people. Importantly, she had made friends – something that had been missing prior to her time at the ARK.
There were plenty of such anecdotes from the team at ARK but of course much welfare work can ‘feel good’ but actually has little value. To ensure the time, effort and money invested in the project is well spent, the team carry out pre and post course surveys using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. This questionnaire looks at strengths and difficulties and allows the monitoring of students progress towards goals. To date, the results have been very positive. APART at the Ark appears to be a transferable model and conversations have taken place about rolling it out into other regions. The cost to referrers or sponsors of putting one student and dog through the training is $3000 (NZ). The ARK subsisdises this through grants, fundraising and donations. The Trust is constantly looking for corporate engagement. Should you be interested or wish to find out more about the APART or Healing Species, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss or make a donation via http://thenelsonark.co.nz/please-donate/