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By Mike Allison, Jun 19 2018 02:54PM

Ruby Awakening in Safety & Warmth
Ruby Awakening in Safety & Warmth
Coming to terms with a safe, new environment
Coming to terms with a safe, new environment

Ruby comes home amid differing views of whether CIT is an appropriate, or indeed an acceptable means of dog capture. The truth is that when all other options have ceased to work, or have failed then there are few other viable options left - and of those that are left, then only CIT ticks the boxes when it comes to safe, humane and effective recovery.


Take 'Ria' for example, a dog that had escaped and survived on the streets of Manchester for over 5 years. Almost every conceivable method of capture had been attempted, all of which had failed. 'Ria's' owner never gave up hope amidst sometimes brutal criticism of her actions - especially when she suggested darting as a solution. Ironically, it was CIT and darting that eventually led to the safe and humane re-capture of 'Ria'.


'Ria' and many more dogs and a multitude of other animals throughout the UK owe their very lives to the fact that CIT exists. However, there are precious few operators in the UK capable of using it safely, efficiently or to its full potential.


This was borne out by the haphazard nature by which an operator attempted to dart 'Ria' without the proper knowledge and experience. Even now, a high-profile case is currently on-going whereby the chances of a safe capture are miniscule for no other reason than a deficiency in technical knowledge, and the reluctance on the part of the opertors involved to seek professional guidance.


In 'Ria's' case, there had been multiple attempts at trapping; netting; drugs in feed; dog 'whisperers' and at least one other attempt at darting - all of which had failed miserably - leaving 'Ria' to scavenge for food, risking injury and death on a daily basis - to not only herself, but to any motorist who might swerve to miss her in the busy streets.


So when should CIT & darting be considered as an option? Well, I could start by stating an old saying and it goes; "When the horse you are flogging is dead... it is time to get off the horse and seek another horse" We can equate this philosophy to many cases of dog capture.


One thing we are NOT suggesting is that CIT should be considered as a first option. We must appreciate that very few capture operations are identical, and an almost endless permutation of circumstances can be encountered in what can be a highly dynamic environment.


So when should CIT & Darting be an option? Well its normally when there is little chance of other methods working, whether its in the form of calm, softly spoken positive reinforcement to trapping, to the use of other less popular methods such as physical restraint or collarums. One thing is for sure, that when a method is simply not working, then it is very unlikely to work in the future - so what would be the point in continuing to flog that particular 'dead horse'?


There is a grave downside to this practice too. Animals (as with humans) will only take so much before they do something drastic to avoid the event, and in the case of dogs, it is usually a profound change in routine behaviour. No matter how well-meaning the action is, it is at these times that the unfortunate animals are unwittingly placed in greater danger.


Only in the last six months such a change resulted in the unfortunate - but avoidable - death of a dog which had changed its behavioural pattern in response to ill-timed human intervention - coupled with the failure to understand the likely consequences.


So what are there risks with CIT & Darting? It would be foolish and dishonest of me to say that CIT is without risk to the subject animal. BUT it would be true to say that the risks are no more than those associated with a badly designed trap, an inappropriate trap, the incorrect use of a Collarum, or indeed the effects of causing an animal to needlessly cross busy roads or railways.


Any form of sedation and/or anaesthesia will always carry risks. There is always the risk of dart trauma through incorrect dart placement. There is always a risk with incorrect drug choice or dose rate calculations.


In order to eliminate or minimise risk as far as possible It is incumbent on the operator of such equipment to ensure that the risks are negated as far as possible. That can only be achieved by training, gaining experience under professional guidance and undertaking ongoing CPD as well as evaluation through operational skills testing, evaluation and assessments.


CIT is not for the faint hearted, mainly because of the multitude of variables that can come into play, and what can initially look like a straightforward process can quickly escalate into a life-threatening environment for both the animal and those involved. It is therefore imperative that only true professionals are engaged to carry out this highly specialised facet of animal capture. At ACUK and CCUK we pride ourselves in having that capability based not simply on certificates, but a solid track record of professional experience.


We all hope for the best in any case of a lost pet, but hope in itself is simply not enough to maximise the chances of getting them home safely. Sometimes there is a need to recognise when something isnt working, and appreciate that the longer it is allowed to go on not working, the more the risks to the animal are compounded.


For full details on the services that we provide in so far as CIT and Darting is concerned, please contact us on 01264 811155, or email us on [email protected]










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 [email protected]


IF YOU'RE GONNA DO IT, DO IT RIGHT! - Call Canine Capture UK.

By Mike Allison, Apr 18 2018 11:31PM

Animal Capture UK, in association with our channel partners Canine Capture UK are proud to report that a Doberman X dog called Ria was finally caught after 5 years 'on the run'.


Using digital tracking darts and the professional expertise of both ACUK and Canine Capture UK, Ria was safely recovered using a specially formulated drug mix delivered by the world class Pneudart X-Caliber dart projector.


After 5 years and multiple failed attempts at capture by other operators, Kaye Wicks and Nicki Scriven of Canine Capture UK were contacted over two months ago, marking the start of a preparatory program that culminated in the successful capture of Ria yesterday evening.


"Whilst we use state-of-the-art technology in capture operations such as these, it can only be deployed when the preparatory phase has been completed. This may take several weeks, or even months" said Mike Allison, Director of Animal Capture UK.

The closing moments before Ria's capture
The closing moments before Ria's capture
Part of the Canine Capture UK field team
Part of the Canine Capture UK field team
The morning after a successful capture ending 5 years 'on the run'
The morning after a successful capture ending 5 years 'on the run'

By Mike Allison, May 4 2017 10:16PM

We are pleased to report that one of ACUK's past students and channel partner, Charlie Cole of West Country Animal Capture, was instrumental in helping to recover a cow stranded on rocks on the Cornish coast.


Using a Pneudart X-Caliber, and working in conjunction with Kernow Veterinary Hospital and fire crews, Charlie was lowered down the cliffs and successfully delivered a dart to the animal which was later winched to safety by the fire crew.


Our thanks go to Charlie for providing an excellent service, and upholding the professionalism of our National Live Capture Operator Network.


For more information about Live Capture services in the Southwest, please call us on 01264 811155 or email us on [email protected]

By Mike Allison, Apr 29 2014 10:27PM

After a breaout of 105 cattle in Hampshire the day before Good Friday, we are pleased to report that today we darted and recovered the remaining two heifers using Xylazine, delivered by our amazing Pneudart X-Caliber Dart Rifle.


Following the initial escape, the realisation that in some cases animals were only one field away from disaster for the livestock, the owner and road users as some animals roamed dangerously close to the busy A303 in Hampshire.


ACUK were called out to help with the recapture operation, and it wasnt long before farm staff realised that Remote Chemical Injection (RCI) of sedative provided a stress-free recapture option, and option that few farmers are aware of.


The Pneudart X-Caliber Dart Rifle, (ACUK's front line instrument for remote injection) proved invaluable and enabled highly accurate delivery of sedatives to the liberated heifers. Once injected RCI Operators and staff moved back to let the darted animals settle down. Within 7-8 minutes, the beasts were subdued sufficiently to allow the recovery team to restrain the animals and get them safely into the livestock trailer.


Without specialist live capture equipment such as this, the entire operation would have taken much longer, and carried more risks from animals making their way onto roads.


ACUK are available for farmers and equestrian establishments across the UK to deal with cattle and horse re-capture.


Contact us on 01264 811155 for full details.

X-Caliber, reliability, dependability & flexibility in one package
X-Caliber, reliability, dependability & flexibility in one package

By Mike Allison, Apr 26 2014 09:44PM

ACUK have been engaged in the re-capture of escaped cattle in the past week.


After over 100 cattle escaped, ACUK were called to help re-capture them. In the first few hours of the escape over 50% were successfully rounded up by farm staff, but a significant number - including a valuable bull - remained outside.


Where small groups of animals were located, it was possible to usher them into areas where they could be safely loaded into cattle trailers. However, where animals had become seperated, the they became difficult to catch, and it is these animals that ACUK were called to deal with.


Using a Pneudart X-Caliber dart rifle, Mike Allison, ACUK's most experienced operator - were able to recover several of the animals that were located.


"The extreme accuracy capability of the X-Caliber, combined with many years experience in Live Animal Capture allowed us to effect a 100% capture rate. Every animal that was located has since been recovered by the team with valuable help from the farm staff who provided intelligence and logistical support" said Mike.


It is vitally important that escaped animals in unfamiliar surroundings are not chased. the Live Capture team are so often called as a last resort, however the owner of these cattle knows only too well that chemical restraint using Chemical Immobilisation Technology (CIT) systems has proven to be the most effective, and least stressful for both the animals and those trying to catch them.


For this reason the ACUK Capture Team should be the first call.


For more information on the Animal Capture services we offer, call ACUK on 01264 811155

One heifer walks out on its own four feet - with help from its friends
One heifer walks out on its own four feet - with help from its friends
Three darted animals relax only three metres from each other
Three darted animals relax only three metres from each other
Mechanical advantage to help get the animal into the trailer
Mechanical advantage to help get the animal into the trailer
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