PRESS RELEASE BY THE ANIMAL WELFARE DIRECTORATE - False allegations about Animal Welfare Directorate policies and practices

PRESS RELEASE BY THE ANIMAL WELFARE DIRECTORATE - False allegations about Animal Welfare Directorate policies and practices

Reference Number: PR211569en, Press Release Issue Date: Aug 26, 2021
 
The Animal Welfare Directorate refers to the number of allegations which are circulating on social media by misinformed persons. The directorate has rescued 423 dogs during this past year and currently has 84 dogs in its care, of which 23 are of the Pitbull breed/crossbreed. Allegations that Pitbulls are put to sleep because of their breed is false. The directorate has also successfully homed 21 Pitbull/Bully-cross dogs this year alone, along with dozens of other breeds. The allegation that the Animal Welfare Directorate is putting dogs to sleep due to a lack of space is also false. 
 
Staff members work tirelessly dealing with dogs admitted daily and constantly promoting dogs for adoption as well as placing them foster care when needed. In cases where the dog and cat sections reach full capacity the directorate outsources boarding to a private entity. 
 
Allegations that the directorate asks volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep them quiet about how the directorate is run is also false. The Data Protection Form is in place to ensure that court proceedings related to the animals in Animal Welfare care are not hindered or jeopardised.
 
Allegations that any dog that is aggressive is put to sleep is false. The dog section is currently home to several dogs that may be deemed aggressive, and trainers have been consulted to work with them. There are different types of aggression – territorial, possessive, pain-related and predatory, to name a few. Certain types of aggression where there are no warning signs, unprovoked bite attacks, lack of a show of remorse following an attack and extreme prey drive, amongst others, are just some of the issues taken into consideration when determining whether a dog has a medical behavioural issue and is a candidate for rehabilitation or whether it is likely to remain unpredictable and therefore pose a serious risk of injury. 
 
Unfortunately, on rare occasions the directorate has had to make the difficult decision to euthanise a dog based on medical illness/mental disorders. This is not an easy decision to make but when it is decided upon by a board, the welfare of the animal in question is always factored in, as well as the risk it poses to the welfare of other animals or safety of humans. In certain rare cases, the directorate cannot risk dogs with high prey drive, mental illness, or an unpredictable nature being adopted out to a member of the public and possibly going on to injure a person or another animal. Management must also consider the risk that its workers and volunteers are exposed to on a daily basis when caring for these dogs, and to ensure that they get enough exercise so as to avoid pent up energy leading to aggression as a result of frustration. 
 
The whole team at the Animal Welfare Directorate is always working on improving the situation. Management is using the resources available to rehome as many dogs as possible safely and responsibly. Sentencing non-reformable dogs to a life in a pen with minimal to no human contact is a welfare concern in itself; the management team’s first responsibility is taking care of the animals under its guardianship