Mark Reckless MP Joins Charity In Call For Action Against Irresponsible Dog Ownership

Mark Reckless MP and Laura Vallance of Dogs Trust

Mark Reckless MP and Laura Vallance

Mark Reckless MP, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, joined Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, today to call for action on tackling irresponsible dog ownership at the charity’s annual House of Commons reception hosted by Jim Fitzpatrick MP.

Dogs Trust unveiled a stunning photographic display depicting the work it carries out within communities to help reduce the problems associated with irresponsible dog ownership alongside its policy document, ‘Taking The Lead, Tackling Irresponsible Dogs Ownership’. The event provided a platform for MPs to talk to Dogs Trust staff about the work carried out on the ground to encourage owners to train, neuter and microchip their dogs.

Mark Reckless MP said tackling anti-social dog behaviour in Rochester and Strood had become a key issue for constituents:

“Incidences of anti-social behaviour involving dogs have been increasing in many areas so I am delighted that Dogs Trust is proactively looking to tackle the issue by getting down to grass routes. As I indicated recently in the House of Commons, legislation has its part to play in preventing at least some of these terrible incidents of injury which we see every year.

However, outreach work in local communities is also vital in order to deal proactively with dog owners to help prevent dog attacks from occurring. I want put on record my appreciation of those organisations such as Dogs Trust who continue to work incredibly hard on this matter.”

Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, said:

“Dogs Trust works with over 300 local authorities to tackle the root causes of irresponsible dog ownership. We know from working in affected communities that this is a complex social issue; one that requires a multi-agency approach to target harder to reach groups. As the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, we believe that we’re in the best position to promote change by engaging with dog owners, schools, dog wardens, young offenders, housing associations and the police. We are delighted that Mark Reckless MP supports the work that we are doing.”

Summary of Dogs Trust work in local communities:

  • Since 2010, Dogs Trust has been working on-the-ground with urban dog owners inLondonto tackle the issue of so-called “status” dogs. The City Dogs Project is a pioneering scheme that targets young urban dog owners by appealing to them on their level. The City Dogs Team has so far carried out over 1,500 microchippings and issued over 2,000 neutering vouchers in Greater London. Between May 2010 and December 2011, 135 City Dog events took place; with over 50 dog owners asking for free one-to-one dog training sessions with our City Dogs trainer.
  • Dogs Trust also offers select young offenders inLondonthe option to work with its Training & Behaviour Advisers. Through Youth Offender Training teams, they can use their reparation hours to socialise and train dogs waiting to be rehomed.
  • For years Dogs Trust has been working with vets to provide subsidised or free neutering for dog owners living on means-tested benefits in disadvantaged areas. The charity currently works with over 1,000 vets across the country.
  • Dogs Trust offers free microchips to every local authority and housing association in theUK. The charity trains local authority staff to microchip and can even provide them with free scanners.
  • Responsible Dog Ownership Events – These highly popular events are organised in partnership with councils and local Housing Associations. They provide a range of advice and leaflets about all aspects of dog ownership plus neutering vouchers and on-site access to free microchipping and low-cost preventative vet care.
  • “Estate Days” – Working with local authorities, Dogs Trust identifies areas where irresponsible dog ownership is most acute. By visiting these areas and offering leaflets, dog ownership advice, free microchipping and £10 HealthCheck Vouchers, the charity has reduced the numbers of dogs being abandoned on the streets.
  • For those areas where dog abandonment is highest, Dogs Trust offers local authorities free neutering vouchers which can be given to those dog owners who need them most.

Since 2003, Dogs Trust has been providing free workshops to primary schools across most of the UK. The charity now has 13 full-time education officers who conduct around 3,000 classroom presentations a year. Education officers are briefed to target schools in communities with particularly bad social problems.

For further information, please contact the Dogs Trust online press office at www.dogstrust.org.uk

Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction. 

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Filed under big society, campaigns, charity, Dogs Trust, mark reckless, medway, rochester and strood

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