Monday, May 3, 2010

RSPCA Week 2010

As usual I don't feel we made as much of RSPCA week as we could have done if we'd had more volunteers and hadn't already been maxed out with other things that couldn't be abandoned to make time to organise it properly.

Ideally we need to recruit someone who isn't already doing something else that's "mission-critical" to branch activities who could make it their sole project. Collectors don't just need to be recruited; they need to be contacted with reminders a few weeks beforehand; issued with their tins and badges, then finally thanked and told how much was collected after the event. It just isn't possible for someone to do this effectively on top of other major volunteering commitments. It's also much better for volunteers' morale if the person organising RSPCA week is collecting too, so they don't feel they're being bossed about by someone who's not pulling their weight in the actual work.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Questionnaire

When the pilot Staffordshire bull terrier adoption/neutering campaign ran last year I put up a questionnaire for owners as part of the publicity activities. 

Results below:
Where did you get your current Staffordshire?

At least a third of dogs had been adopted from welfare organisations, and relatively few seemed to have originated from professional or semi-commercial breeders.

Is your current Staffordshire male or female?

Interestingly there doesn't seem to be any suggestion at all from the response to this question that male dogs might be any more difficult to control than bitches.

Is he/she neutered?

Most of the 21 no's said cost was a barrier (a few had puppies not yet old enough for the operation)

If no, would you consider getting him/her neutered?

Three no's expressed health concerns and desire not to put their dog through unnecessary surgery when he did not exhibit any behaviour problems.

Is your dog microchipped?
Interestingly, much less resistance to this than to neutering. Some of the no's mentioned cost as an issue and some planned to get their puppies chipped at the same time as they were neutered.

Would you consider adopting another Staffordshire?

The four no's included some who expressed concern about the risk of a future breed ban meaning they might adopt a dog only to have him/her put down and some who simply said that no other dog could replace their present one.

This probably wasn't a representative sample as those motivated to respond would be likely to be knowledgeable and concerned about the welfare of dogs, but it does demonstrate that many Staffordshires are living happy and well-adjusted lives in normal pet homes. It does suggest that more low-cost neutering would reduce the proportion of bitches who might have accidental litters and that more low cost microchipping would increase the proportion of dogs who are chipped (of course it's still likely that it would be the responsible owners, not the problem ones, who got their dogs chipped).

The questionnaire's still open for responses if anyone viewing this has a Staffordshire or other bull breed and would like to complete it.