Debunking the Myths About Merseyside Dogs Home
Why are negative things being said about you on facebook?
We have done nothing wrong, we don’t know why but what we do know is that it is generated from one individual and the way facebook works, in that popular opinion is coloured by unfounded claims and easily targets mass misunderstandings.
It manipulates user’s opinions and emotions revealing the true negative implications it can have. Its psychological, when exposed to emotional content users are more likely to create posts which reflect the same emotions.
Herd mentality, mob mentality and pack mentality, also lesser known as gang mentality, describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis.
– the power of manipulation.
What impact is this negativity having on the dogs?
At the moment, the dogs are unaffected, its staff and volunteers who are unfairly being harassed by hate messages.
However, we have to rehome forty dogs a month to take in new and unclaimed stray dogs, the fewer visitors to site, the fewer dogs get rehomed the fewer we can take in. Other rescues are full and there have currently been no offers from other rescues to help.
What impact is it having on the staff and volunteers?
We would like to thank them and the large number of volunteers who have been in contact outraged by the antics of the face book page generating hate towards us.
Our staff are hard working, caring people, who come into work every day beacause they love dogs and want to help save as many as possible. They work hard for the benefit of the dogs, for them to be receiving hate messages has a big impact on their welfare.
We suspect, it is also having an impact on those staff and volunteers that initially raised concerns, how their concerns have been embellished and misinterpreted and created what now is a monster on face book.
The critism, that as dog lovers they did not report incidents at the correct time and allowed potential misuse to continue for years, is perhaps something they will have to justify or are stories fogged by memory recall and mob mentality?
Why have you taken your facebook page down?
Sadly, because a page on Facebook is deliberately driving emotions creating mob mentality and escalating anger, it has produced a hate campaign against us and we are receiving abusive and vile messages.
This has been reported to the Police.
Does every dog’s welfare improve whilst with you?
Welfare can be measured from a number of perspectives but in the majority of cases, yes it does improve. Sadly, some are already too far beyond help when they arrive in our care – the dogs that we take in are strays, who have often been abandoned, neglected and abused before they arrive on our doorstep. Unfortunately las year we took in around twenty dogs that were either too unwell or too mentally damaged by the way they had been treated by humans in the past for us to be able to rehome them safely, and we had to make the difficult decision to put them to sleep.
Are all dog inoculated?
Yes, DHPPI and Leptospirosis along with Kennel Cough. The dogs are swabbed each quarter to see what strain of kennel cough we have, we don’t have Bordetella the main strain of kennel cough.
However we do have coughing dogs that are isolated, it’s a phenomenon that can’t be avoided.
Has any dog ever suffered with you?
No dogs welfare has ever been compromised but on occasions we have struggled with some dogs.
Have you ever been reported regarding the welfare of a dog?
Despite allegations of reports against us, only two reports have ever been made and these were neither advisable or enforced activities. Neither of these were from the allegations currently circulating face book.
The allegations that reports were first made in 2019 are untrue.
Have staff or volunteers ever complained regarding a dog’s welfare?
No, neither during an active period at the centre or after leaving has any one ever raised concerns over welfare.
Many discussions have taken place over individual dog’s wellbeing and how to put into place action to best help them.
Have you ever been inspected?
Yes, we have always looked after the dogs to a high standard and each time inspected we have always been looking after the dogs to a first-class standard. Out most recent inspection gave us the top grading possible.
Is there a conspiracy between yourself, the Local Authorities, RSPCA, DEFRA , the Media and all other organisations?
We don’t think that is possible but conspiracy theory is driving the hate campaign and mob mentality against us.
Have staff ever been disciplined or Volunteers spoken to regarding poor handling of dogs.
Yes, we have high standards.
Do you rehome dogs from other parts of the country?
Very rare, only on case specific dogs that cannot find anywhere else to go, nearly all of our dogs are from this region. In 2017 we took dogs in from Wales that were subject to destruction.
Did you spend £40,000 on dog food in 2017?
No, it was £5,080.
Are pages of your accounts missing?
No, are full accounts are published, there is no declaration of interest charged on the loan from our trustees of £107,410 because no interest is charged.
Why do you need a loan?
All charities generate income from fundraising and it takes years to build support so we need a loan to tie us over.
Why do you pay money to Animal Wardens?
We don’t, they pay us, in 2017 it was £44,000
Why does Animal Wardens have an office on your premises?
They don’t, they along with other organisations and our own staff they use a hot desk in a porta cabin. They also have a franking machine from the post office that we use.
How much does it cost to rehabilitate a dog?
Each dog is individual but a simple mechanism is to divide the spending of a rescue by the number of dogs it has rescued, our is currently just under £500 a dog.
Are all your dog’s 100% healthy when rehomed?
No, they are in the final stages of rehabilitation, some at a higher standard than others. Adopters are informed of this and its well documented in our adoption pack.
Do lots of dog’s tails get docked because of small kennels?
No, on rare occasions tail are docked, mostly because they are damaged on arrival. It has been three dogs in the last two years.
Is there any heating kennels?
Yes three banks of electric heating have been installed, these are supported by propane space warmers and portable heaters.
Double glazing has also been installed to help insulate.
Why are your dogs so quiet?
We operative a behavioural and training programme known as Open Paw, that keeps the dogs content.
Why have some volunteers fallen out with you?
We opened in 2013 and began moving over to the Open Paw system in 2015 fully implementing it in 2016.
It’s a unique way of working, structured with different levels, ensuring volunteers to the best for the dogs working within their level of capability. Some volunteers were working beyond their level of capability and became upset with the new structured approach.
Why do you not take all and any dog in for rescue?
We have to be careful not to overcommit, we can only take in dogs that we can care for and fund.
There have been several occasions since opening where we have worked to capacity but the welfare of the dogs has never been compromised.
Do you hate large dogs ?
No not at all. However, not all people (and volunteers) are not competent handling large dogs so we have to be bea this in mind when matching dogs to homes or to volunteers.
Do you use bedding?
Yes, we rely heavily on public donations, we have a 300 kilo skip that is 75% full of spoiled bedding each week. Soiled bedding is discarded to reduce the risk of cross contamination and prevent the spread of disease.
Do you not feed some dogs?
Yes, almost every week there is a number of dogs not getting fed because they are going for operations and neuter. It can be annoying when volunteers feed these dogs creating operations to be cancelled.
Are you operating illegally by keeping stray dogs?
No, we are a drop of centre for Local Authorities; stray dogs don’t spend the duration of seven days with us. We don’t require a licence for the activities we undertake here but regular visits are made by the Local Authorities and staff.
Even other rescues that hold stray dogs do not require a licence.
Do people only have seven days to find their lost dog?
No, a Local Authority takes care of stray dogs for seven days then legal ownership passes to them. The dog is then gifted to an organisation who endeavour to rehome the dog.
On Merseyside, the Local Authorities don’t transfer ownership for ten days and on average it takes twenty-nine days to rehome a dog, so owners have on average, twenty-eight days to find a lost dog before it finds a new home.
Are fewer dogs finding their way home than they were ten years ago?
No, systems have improved over the past decade, more dogs on Merseyside are now finding their way home than ever.
Are more dogs put to sleep on Merseyside than a decade ago?
No, systems have improved fewer dogs are put to sleep than ever?
Why are dogs on Merseyside being put to sleep?
It’s a root problem of dogs being bred as livestock rather than bred for companionship. This has resulted in Merseyside having more aggressive dogs than any other part of the country, to give it the title of Dog Bite Capital of the UK.
Is there capacity on Merseyside to help more stray dogs?
No, organisations do not want to become directly involved with stray dogs due to how easy it is to generate misconceptions about the work they do?
Are dogs sent for vivisection?
No and we don’t think this is a possible thing to do. However, dogs that we can’t help, around twenty a year, continue to give after humans have forced their demise and death. They help new vets to be trained to improve future development care of dogs.
Have things improved since 2015?
Things improve every year, we are always improving standards and the way we work.
Is there more than one dog in each kennel?
Dogs are companion animals and they need companionship, especially over a long period like twenty-nine days, yes they are paired at the appropriate with the same gender and size of dog.
It is not illegal to keep more than one dog in a kennel.
Are you under investigation?
No, from no one, there is nothing to investigate, we have done nothing wrong.
Is Jack from Facebook a real dog?
Yes, he was rehomed by us in April 2015, he went to live in what appeared to be a nice household with another large dog, fitting the criteria. Several meetings took place on site with his new adopter and the other dog.
What was he like?
He was a healthy dog that was rehomed with insurance that had no restrictions putting him in full health.
A neutered male cross breed, brindle and white. Described as a lively boy who has had some basic training. Needing an active, adult only home with experience. He got along with other dogs.
What went wrong?
Although he got on well with other dogs and the introduction to the other family dog went well, over time, in the house environment the other dog dominated and it lead to fights.
Did Jack return to see one of your behaviourist?
No and neither was a phone call made to the behaviourist, although another member of staff may have spoken, we don’t know.
Are the claims about dead dogs in outside kennels in 2015 true?
No, its ludicrous.
Where reports made against you in 2015?
No idea, no one never visited us, we can’t answer for anyone else.
Are volunteers asked not to give dogs treats?
Yes, on occasions, dogs have a training routine, treats are regarded as a reward, giving them at the wrong time and mistiming rewards enforces negative behaviour paters that Jack was suffering from.
Is there a small narrow kennel behind the vet room?
No, never has been.
Do dogs fight?
Yes, mostly by accident when passing each other, that’s why it is important for volunteers only to handle dogs within their capability.
Is anyone at the centre allowed to take food or beds home for their own dogs?
No, never has, it’s a strict rule.
Is it true that you are still asking for donations for dogs that are no longer alive?
No, absolutely not. When JustGiving fundraising pages are set up they are set to expire on a set date. Betty Poop’s fundraising campaign expired in 2017 and is no longer accepting donations.
Was a mum removed from her pups at four weeks?
We don’t have many litters at the centre, we normally give a bitch in whelp to other centres but on this occasion the dog did give birth with us. She had a large litter so we began substituting and weaning at four weeks, mum was separated for short spells. Mum and all the pups survived healthily.
Do you have boarded up kennels?
No, all our kennels are open mesh, no wood, boarding or anything of that nature.
Is it true about Wacky?
Yes, he was passed to the Greyhound Trust, nothing complicated.
Do you have any pictures?
No, not from 2015 and we have not seen any to substantiate the claims made against us.