By Mike Allison, May 30 2018 09:13PM
WORDS OF WARNING TO DOG LOVERS!!
Losing your dog can be one of the most stressful and upsetting experiences, and the longer it remains unrecovered the more these emotions are compounded. It is at these times that owners can be at their most vulnerable and at these times, choosing a capture team can be done more though desperation than an informed decision. At best it can be a risky business, and at worst it could end in heartbreak.
Firstly it is important for owners to know that few capture operations are identical and vary from a straightforward capture to a highly complex multi-faceted operation requiring specialist skills and equipment. The specific capture management protocols will be driven by the dog's breed, its background, the location and the specific circumstances surrounding its escape/loss. There may be many other factors involved that dictate a targeted approach.
Animal Capture UK/Canine Capture UK feel it is our duty to inform owners on what they need to look for before engaging a capture team, and some of the questions they need to ask to ensure that the correct choice is made.
1) EXPERIENCE - what experience does the team have? It is not uncommon for operators to claim to have many years of experience when in reality they may have had very little. Your particular set of circumstances may dictate that specialist skills are deployed.
2) QUALIFICATIONS - for general capture, qualifications may not be necessary, although when high-tech systems such as drones and Chemical Immobilisation Technology (CIT) are used then there will almost always be a licensing requirement. Ask what qualifications the team members have to substantiate their claims of experience, and ensure that the qualification/licence is current. Check that the qualifications do actually exist, and that they are recognised by a UK-based awarding body.
3) EQUIPMENT - don't be afraid to ask what equipment the team uses, as sometimes inappropriate kit is used that can result in an injured dog, or 'educating' the dog never to go near such structures again. Once a botched capture has been attempted and the dog escapes, then its behavioural pattern will likely change and it may require a completely different approach.
4) REFERENCES - If the team have many years of experience, then there will be references and testimonials that can bear out that claim. Make sure the testimonials and references are bona-fide, as so many can simply be made up. References from Veterinary Surgeons are ideal, but ensure that the Vet supports the actual area of operation under which the team and/or its individual members are claiming to have experience.
5) COSTS - many teams provide their services free of charge, but when you get into the realms of hiring cameras, traps and engaging specialist skills then there is almost certainly going to be a cost. Ensure that you get a good idea of costs up front, and preferably in writing (email or physical letter) to ensure that there are no disputes at the end.
6) WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA - a simple google search will normally bring you information about people/groups and don't be afraid to check out claims on them. Some website and facebook photos can be stock photos, or simply cut and pasted from other un-related sites. Ask questions about some of the pictures. Where were they taken? When? Ask to speak to the people who feature in them. Any reluctance to do that should trigger suspicion.
By following these six simple rules, you can spare yourself hours, days or even weeks of stress and uncertainty.
If you need good advice, and to be pointed in the right direction for the most appropriate course of action, then a simple post on The Dog Trapping Team - Search & Rescue Network will give you a reliable start to help find your dog. For specialist capture advice for difficult dogs, then please contact Animal Capture UK/Canine Capture UK 01264 811155, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
IF YOU'RE GONNA DO IT, DO IT RIGHT! - Call Canine Capture UK.