DESTITUTE ANIMAL SHELTER
POLICY & PRACTICES

General
The Destitute Animal Shelter is and always has been in a constant state of evolution from the policies that were considered appropriate at our inception at the turn of the last century. This will continue and will allow us to always provide the best available help for the animals in our care at all times.

  • We now carry out home visits and adoption questionnaires on all homes in the Bolton and district areas (dogs only)
  • Since 1992 we have had a policy of not putting to sleep any animal other than on veterinary recommendation. This we take very seriously and do not allow dogs with health or behaviour problems to be used as an excuse to solve an overcrowding problem.
  • We have a full time qualified staff, and ongoing training is taken seriously. In addition we rely on volunteers for the extra little things that we prefer to get done. For instance nearly every fully vaccinated dog is walked every day.
  • The transport of dogs is carried out with two specially modified vans which are fully equipped for the care and transport of animals.
  • Fire evacuation procedures are clearly displayed in the relevant places, all appropriate fire extinguishers are in place and serviced annually.
  • Both managers are qualified first aiders, and very comprehensive first aid kits are kept to well beyond the minimum recommendations including an eye wash station for Virkon contamination.
  • The Shelter operates an equal opportunities policy in respect of staff, volunteers and end users.
  • There is a manager resident at the Shelter at all times.
  • All staff, volunteers and the general public are protected by the relevant employers and public liability insurance.
  • The Shelter currently holds both the contracts for stray dogs and dead road traffic accidents with the relevant departments of the local authority. This allows for thorough cross referencing with the lost and found records which are also kept at the Shelter for the Bolton Borough in both computerised and hard copy systems.
  • After the proper care of the resident animals there is no more important duty than the duty of appropriate communication with the animal owning public, whether their pet came from the Shelter or not. We try to educate (tactfully) regarding the care of their pets and the local services available to them, especially what to do when a pet is lost.

Rehoming Policy
Before any animal can be re-homed the staff find out everything possible about its nature its requirements and the type of home that would be suitable.

  • Before any potential adopter is accepted their home circumstances are tactfully enquired about to firstly ensure that it would be a suitable home for a cat or dog and secondly to ensure that they are only offered animals appropriate to their circumstances.
  • Great care is taken to ensure that the adopter does not have any commercial purpose in mind and that they are not considering using a dog as a guard dog
  • All animals that we re-home are neutered if they are over 6 months old, or are provided with a voucher if they are under 6 months old. All animals are given their first vaccination as soon as possible and their second on the appropriate date if they are still with us. No animal is allowed to leave un-vaccinated or without having provision made for neutering.
  • All dogs that leave the Shelter whether adopted or claimed by their owners are identi-chipped before leaving us.
  • If a cat or dog is less than 6 months of age the staff reassure themselves that the adopter understands that the neutering of the animal is a definite requirement at six months of age and that failure to comply will result in the termination of the adoption unless the delay is for veterinary reasons
  • The adoption cannot proceed until a suitably qualified staff member has visited the adopter’s home and reassured themselves that the offered home is suitable. If a potential adopter is not considered suitable tor whatever reason they are told so as politely as possible to avoid causing offence
  • When a cat or dog leaves the Shelter it will have been vaccinated and (if over six months old) neutered. The staff member responsible for the adoption ensures that the adopter has all the necessary information to carry on with the animals care in an appropriate manner and that they understand what has been given to them. This information is backed up with a booklet for reference at a later date. The adopter is also made to understand that they are free and wecome to call for further advice as often as they feel the need.
  • No dog or cat is allowed to leave without proper identification. This is in the form of a collar and disc as a minimum with cats; dogs are also identichipped.
  • If after adopting an animal from the Shelter, the adopter wishes to return it to us they are entitled to do so. The animal will be re-admitted as soon as practical. In some of these cases the adopter is politely informed that the reason for return is not one that the Shelter would consider to be a suitable reason but this does not affect the result. If an adopter no longer wants the animal it is better off being returned for its own benefit. In some of these cases the adopter is politely informed that they would not be considered suitable adopters in the future.