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@DAS @DAS Domestic Animal Services Dogs ... Deserve Daily Walks November 2010 Domestic Animal Services Dogs ... Deserve Daily Walks November 2010 New Coordinator for DAS Volunteers I have the privilege to have been appointed as the new DAS Volunteer Coordinator. The new role will work in well with existing duties in animal welfare policy advice and administration of the Animal Welfare Act 1992. Over the last couple of weeks I have been working behind the scenes examining a number of issues and talking with many of you about problems experienced volunteering with DAS. I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Di Johnstone for all her efforts in keeping the volunteer program operating at DAS. I know I can rely on Di to continue her good work in assisting both dogs and humans involved with DAS. Some of you may remember me from the years I spent with RSPCA as their Executive Officer and will know I am no stranger to the world of dogs or to volunteering. While the environment at DAS is more regulatory in nature many of the issues remain the same. In particular, dogs that are locked up in enclosures with no exercise and little stimulation run the risk of suffering mental anxiety and, at its worst, this can result in dogs going ‘kennel crazy’, often resulting in both mental and physical damage. Volunteers with DAS are there to prevent this from happening and more. DAS has probably the best re-homing rate of any government operated pound in Australia. With the help of staff, volunteers and rescue organisations such as ARF, just over 96% of dogs received by DAS were returned to their homes or found new homes, last year. A truly amazing result that you can all be proud of ! My role is to coordinate volunteer services and to be available to discuss issues as they may arise. I am not based at DAS but will be on site early Monday mornings, Wednesday mornings and as required at other times. I can be contacted by phone on 6207 2249 mornings only, or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org any time. Current volunteers should have received a letter inviting them to a meeting held on 8 November, and an email concerning the new roster. If you are currently volunteering at DAS (or would like to join us in the future!) and have not received any communication, please send me a quick email so you can be included in the future. In the accompanying picture you can see my two lovely dogs, Ellie (Elk Hound X) and Bonnie (anyone’s guess really). Unfortunately, I failed to get all my animals in the one photo. I managed to get both dogs, both cats and most of my chooks on or next to me – even though they all get on extremely well, this lasted for about a second before chooks flapped and made a mess of me, startling the cats and disturbing the dogs – well at least I tried…. I look forward to meeting you all on the trail or at this year’s Christmas party (details soon). — Simon Tadd Letter from the Editor In this issue we feature ARF’s temperament testing of DAS dogs. ARF assessments are We remind dog owners of their responsibilities during holiday periods and In very welcome news, our new Volunteer important for the public who adopt dogs advise of a great book about taking your dog Coordinator, Simon Tadd has started and direct from DAS and for volunteers. with you! has already met with some volunteers. You Volunteers and rescue groups are keen to And there are the regular items with an can read about Simon and his plans for the ensure that the Canberra community knows important message from DAS about the volunteer program. there are many lovely dogs at DAS that need ongoing problem of Parvo. to be re-homed to caring homes. We feature We were also encouraged that senior TAMS a calendar with photos of some of the dogs officers met with volunteers on 8 November and expressed strong support for the rescued by ARF from DAS. Dogs at DAS available for re-homing are, as volunteers Di Johnstone volunteer program. know, beautiful friendly dogs. DAS Volunteer and Editor DAS dogs star in ARF calendar Leo and Sally As volunteers know there are lots of lovely dogs at DAS that need With the holiday season approaching, responsible new homes. Some are adopted directly by the public from DAS; dog owners will be worrying about arrangements others are re-homed through rescue groups. One of the thousands for the care of their dogs while they are away. of dogs that ARF has re-homed is Bobby, ARF’s 2011 calendar cover But leaving dogs in good care is only one solution. boy. ARF’s 2011 calendar features photos of beautiful rescued dogs Another is to take our beloved pooches with us. This of all shapes and sizes. Do buy the calendar and help support ARF wonderful book is a guide to how you can do this. and its important work. It’s available via ARF’s website www.fosterdogs.org There was a time when taking a dog with you on holiday was practically impossible. But now there are an extraordinary number and range of places Volunteer Supplies across Australia that allow, and in some cases actively encourage, you to take your pets. The following volunteer supplies have been purchased from the $500 provided to DAS volunteers by the Chief Minister. There are 9 Now in a newly published 11th edition (for new collars, 16 good quality woven leads (with thanks to the RSPCA 2011/12), this enormously popular guide takes for providing these at cost), 20 new Doglovers printed heavy duty you to the places in Australia, over 2000 of these, T-shirts and several bags of liver pieces as training aids. where you can take your dog, whether it is beaches, In addition Paul Mlakar of Mlakar Signs has very generously donated forests, farms, holiday cottages, caravan parks or over 200 beautiful new magnetized ‘day’ signs for the kennels. motels. DAS will keep the first aid kit up to date—this is an OHS issue—and There is a bit of planning involved, and you always provide antiseptic wash for volunteers. need to check about the requirements of the accommodation before you set off. ‘Holidaying with Dogs’ also gives you helpful advice on how to travel Ask the Registrar safely and responsibly with pets. Where can DAS volunteers find the new leads and collars? If you really can’t take your dog, there are also The leads and collars are in a bag in the drawer at the front counter of names of many potential pet sitters. DAS reception. No dog owner should be without this book. Ask for Can volunteers give dogs treats? it at your favourite book store or check out No, treats—especially bones can block the waste disposal system in www.holidayingwithdogs.com.au the kennels and cause hygiene problems. (Editor’s note: I have taken a dog on holiday to Pub What will be the arrangements for volunteers over the Christmas/ Hill Farm, Narooma and to Mogendoura Farm, near New Year period? Moruya, both featured in this book. They were both These arrangements will be made by the Volunteer Coordinator great places for dogs. Pub Hill Farm gets a ‘five paw’ Simon Tadd. rating.) The major Canberra-based dog rescue organisations working cooperatively with DAS are: RSPCA ACT Canberra Pooch Rescue www.rspca-act.org.au www.canberrapoochrescue.org.au ACT Rescue and Foster Inc. CARA www.fosterdogs.org www.companionrescue.org.au A number of breed-specific organisations also rescue dogs from DAS. Feature Article Temperament Testing By Beverley Margosis: ARF/DAS Liaison Officer, ARF Temperament Tester and ARF Foster Carer Every Saturday a dedicated team of ARF (ACT Rescue and Foster Inc) testers turns up at DAS to test the next group of dogs that have made the dreaded euthanasia list. In all weathers the team will test each dog in exactly the same way. This test is designed not to ‘fail’ the dogs but to give the rescuers the best information we can gather regarding the dog’s temperament. Obviously we are completely aware that DAS is not the most perfect testing environment but we do what we can. Generally each test takes about 10 minutes to perform and it will give us information which we then use when we write up a paper profile sheet for the dog’s cage; we also put the temperament test results up onto our own rescue forum and then on to Dogzonline in the hope that the lovely needies receive rescue or a forever home directly from the pound. The test enables us to see many different but important sides of the hound in need. For example we test for food aggression. We perform this test by firstly putting a bowl of dry food down to see if the dog engages and begins to eat. If it does we approach with a hand on a stick and put the hand in the bowl. Then we run it over the dog’s head and along the body. We finish by trying to push the dog’s head out of the bowl. This is not done forcefully but it is done firmly. In an ideal world the dog would move away from the bowl completely. The most common response we see is that they just continue to eat and seem unfazed by the hand being there. In more unusual circumstances we have had a dog snap quite aggressively at the hand. Again this does not mean that the dog has not passed that part of the test but what it does do is arm a foster carer with more information about behaviours that will need to be modified prior to the dog’s rehoming back into the community. We also test for dog to dog introductions. This is done as I believe it is probably the most important part of the test. Most rescuers have their own dogs and potential forever homes would desire a social dog that they did not have to worry about bad behaviour in public or at home. Another important factor is our trainability section. We assess how responsive the dog is to toys, food and pats; we check to see if there is any basic training present. By checking for trainability we are able to learn what motivates the dog and also how receptive it is so we can iron out any issues with training. These and other tests will be explained further in future newsletters. Every Saturday when we have received our list we place an ARF magnet on the dogs’ cages so that DAS Volunteer Walkers know that we need to test the dog. This is because we need to test the dogs before they have a walk. Every ARF tester has dog experience. We use a format for our testing that was devised by Underdog Training and we do extensive Beverley Margosis with Tai who has been rehomed to a beautiful home through ARF weekend workshops with them on a regular basis so that we are up to date and informed. Most temperament testers are also foster carers who all own dogs and have done for quite some time. We all use our experience to help us bond with and test each dog that we have out. ARF’s main objective in performing these tests is to ensure that our carers and other rescue groups in Canberra are rehoming dogs that are safe to be housed back out into the community. Our ARF testing notices on the cage for each tested dog help the public to know a little bit about each dog’s personality and needs. This helps them make the right decision when having a new canine companion join their family. For further information about ARF visit: www.fosterdogs.org An important me ss age from DAS From 2 Novembe r 2010, DAS has be staffed with its au en fully thorised strength and negotiations of Rangers, are underway with DASNEWS proactive joint op the AFP for erations in the ne Despite recent qu ar future. arantine periods du DAS operations in e to parvovirus, DASNEWS the field have cont normal. Between inued as 19 June 2010 and a total of 596 dogs 31 October 2010 were impounded DASNEWS From 13 Septembe at the facility. r 2010 all dogs en facility are being C3 tering the vaccinated agains t parvovirus. DASNEWS Vets advise that th e parvovirus is pa virulent at the mom rticularly ent and is difficult DASNEWS from the commun to remove ity if vaccination le fall below 70%. Va vels of dogs ccination is the be to protect dogs ag st insurance ainst the virus. Pu extremely suscep ppies are tible to the virus an full course of vacc d need the inations at 6, 12 an to ensure adequa d 16 weeks te protection. If th action is not follow is course of ed, vaccination of be unsuccessful, du puppies can e to antibodies in milk. A single vacc their mother’s ination at 6 weeks neutralised by the can be fully for the DAS antibodies, and if For public access hours of vaccinations is not followed, a pu the full course ristmas office and shelter over Ch unprotected. ppy can be t the DAS and New Year, check ou ct.gov.au/ It is important for website on www.tams.a a dog’s protection al_services vaccination regim that its live/pets/domestic_anim e is kept current. are At holiday times, far too many dogs ay found straying. If you plan to go aw during the holidays, you should ensure you make reliable arrangements for your dog with a responsible carer. To become a volunteer Telephone 6207 2249 Domestic Animal Services (DAS) works to ensure the welfare of domestic For more information animals in the Territory. The DAS facilities at Mugga Lane, Symonston cater Telephone: 13 22 81 for dogs found roaming, straying or lost in the ACT. Fax: (02) 6207 2252 Email: email@example.com detach here Comments—please tear off and leave at DAS reception with any views, suggestions, or questions for the editor.
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