Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rescue Me: My Life with the Battersea Dogs

Rescue Me: by Melissa Wareham is an inside account of working at Battersea Dogs Home. It's extremely readable, and also a very useful explanation of many aspects of animal rescue work which can lead to friction with members of the public. The prospective adopter who was "turned down" after regaling staff with the disaster of her dog owning history (dogs variously lost, confiscated by police etc.). The elderly gentleman with slightly sub-standard housekeeping skills but endless devotion to his dogs who was accepted with open arms. The offended couple who really couldn't in conscience be allowed a Battersea dog because both were at work all day. All of these will be familiar to anyone who has been involved in rehoming dogs, and Melissa Wareham explains why dog rescue organisations make the decisions they do.

Battersea is possibly the only completely open-access rescue centre in England and they manage to combine this with a strict policy that they do not put down dogs unless hopelessly ill, injured or dangerous.

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