Hi there, I’m Jacqui and I am Digital Marketing Manager at Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity. I’ve been at the Trust for 11 years now and I am glad to be writing for Tenerife Dogs.
A little bit of history, Dogs Trust began in 1891 by Lady Gertrude Stockwell to ‘protect dogs from torture and ill-usage of every kind’
Over 100 years later we still have the same aim. We have a non-destruction policy and rehome 17,000 dogs a year. Though a UK based charity we pride ourselves on offering help to help those overseas with their stray dog populations.
We don’t do this with financial help but by offering help and advice to those who want to start rescues or work with the local authorities to try and change the way it deals with stray dogs.
Our international work started 12 years ago with the very first ICAWC conference (www.icawc.org – website built with my own fair hand!) and it is still going strong with over 300 delegates from as far afield as Australia come to listen and learn how they can change things for the better.
As a regular visitor to Tenerife for the last 20 years or so I have seen the stray cat population shrink. I presume (I don’t know) that this is due to a TNR (trap, neuter and release) program due to the snipped ears of many cats I see. TNR is a great way of controlling the population without taking the animals away from a habitat they understand and causing them unnecessary stress – this is more true in dogs than cats. Many tourists I’m sure think they are doing good by bringing these animals back to the UK, but they are not unhappy, they are more likely to be far more unhappy in a home that is unnatural for them. Then these dogs are left for the UK rescues to care for. But I digress..
Dogs Trust started out with a small programme in Oradea, Romania (www.sosdogs.ro). Which was a TNR scheme and a small rehoming centre. Five years later we have withdrawn and they are now totally self sufficient – a wonderful achievement I’m sure you’ll agree
This year we set up a scheme in Malta http://www.dosgtrustmalta.com. Working alongside SPCA Malta, we will create and implement a range of extensive neutering and responsible pet ownership campaigns on the island to tackle the stray dog problem on many levels.
So as you can see even though were a UK charity we are more than happy to share our expertise and advice wherever it is needed – after all the dogs come first!