The SPRA has re-homed many animals since the society was formed in October 2000 - some not as quickly as we would like, because of the importance of finding the right home.
Before an animal is re-homed, a home check is carried out to make sure the new home will be suitable. The prospective guardian is also assessed regarding suitability.
Where applicable, all animals are neutered, microchipped, treated for parasitic infestations (for example worms, fleas or mites), and vaccinated before they are re-homed.
It is vitally important that anyone, before giving a pet a home, seriously consider the responsibilities they would have to that animal. First, find as much information as possible about the animal’s needs, the financial commitment and the commitment of you and your family. Will the animal be happy living in the conditions you can provide for it? Do you have the necessary knowledge? Can you also give the animal the mental stimulation it requires? Please give us a call or your local vet will be very pleased to help you with information.
The most important part of animal re-homing is finding a permanent home where the animal is going to be cared for, both physically and mentally. Most humans will view this as a simple task, but in reality, people generally still have limited knowledge of what an animal needs. A good indication of an animal’s requirements can be established by considering what it was bred for. For example, border collies were bred for herding. For this type of work they have to be able to think for themselves and have the physical stamina and mental ability to work for long periods. To put this specially designed, finely tuned piece of willing equipment in a brick prison for long periods and expect it to peacefully await your return home is a little unreasonable. Often when dogs have little mental stimulus they revert back to doing the work they were bred for, and set about rounding up the children, imaginary birds, aeroplanes, the postman, etc. Retrievers keep on bringing you things and many just love carrying articles around.
Basic care and routine treatments are often neglected. An interesting fact is that approximately 80% of the animals we take in have received few or none of these treatments. Unbelievably, some owners don’t even worm their animals, let alone vaccinate or neuter them. Time is often an excuse used by owners for just not doing these things.
Another interesting observation: some people ask us to take their pet, they tell us they love it dearly and say, “You will find it a good home?” Then they pass the pet over to us along with fleas, ticks, worms, matted coat, and claws growing into pads, etc. It is not difficult to work out that some of these things are at least uncomfortable and others are extremely painful! Matted coats, for example, cause pain every time the animal moves, pulling skin in sensitive areas. Mats also cause sores and skin irritations. Many humans experience in-growing toenails and have them removed under local anaesthetic – very painful! Dogs are handed over due to their owners being unable to tolerate those little habits that dogs learn because they are bored or have a lack of basic domestication and training. It is disappointing that so many owners can be anthropomorphic (apply human characteristics to animals) regarding an animal’s behaviour, but cannot apply the same thoughts towards its well-being. Thankfully there are many responsible pet owners who really do look after their animals, but sadly have to part with them through no fault of their own. For example, illness, sometimes terminal. The bottom-line is that animals take time and money. Before anyone takes on any kind of animal, they must be certain they can afford both the time and the money that animal will need.
Many owners say parting with a pet is more upsetting than losing a relative. These pet owners do exercise their animals, give routine treatments, neuter, vaccinate, microchip, groom, mentally stimulate, feed a good diet, and generally care for their animal to a good standard. These responsible owners do so because they want to, for the well being of their pet. These are the owners we strive to find.
The SPRA tries to accommodate every eventuality by first offering help with problems and secondly by taking the animal in to its care. Owners who have accepted some help and guidance usually overcome their difficulties and their animals have remained with them. This does rely on the owner being committed to the animal and having an underlying wish to keep it. Sadly, sometimes through a lack of success, the owners feel there is no alternative to re-homing. When owners hand over their animal they have to assign ownership to the SPRA, giving a full history of health, habits, likes and dislikes. This information assists in our aim to find the animal a permanent home. The animal is then assessed and receives its pre-homing treatments.
Prospective owners, having received a home-check and negotiated any on-going training, become guardians for a period of twelve months. This really acts as a safeguard for animal and guardian, giving the SPRA opportunity to offer support and advice. All guardians are advised and encouraged to call us should they experience any difficulties. This support and commitment has proven to be very successful in securing permanent homes.