Welfare Policies
How we treat animals...
In broad outline our welfare policies for the treatment of cats are modelled on those of the large UK Animal Welfare charities and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

These organisations came together some years ago to create a set of common policy statements which you can find on their website "the cat group". (To be clear, we have no association with any of the organisations mentioned there.)

More specifically we tend to look first at what UK Cats Protection does, and our discussions with local vets tend to take their information for vets documents as a starting point.

With dogs, we tend to start by asking ourselves "What would Dogs Trust do" - and as far as we can discern it, work from there.

That said, we use the above policies as a guide and framework and deviate from them as we feel it necessary.

Policies that work well in "normal" times may have to be re-assessed in the face of a massive earthquake or tsunami - or even just a simple volcanic eruption - to which several Kyushu mountains are distressingly prone...

"What to do" in the face of a magnitude 7 or 8 'quake isn't something we plan for as an intellectual exercise - there was an M7.4 earthquake in Kumamoto, just south of us, in mid-April 2016, with a series of major pre-shocks and multiple after-shocks. (We did 6 days of relief work, visiting evacuation centres with food and supplies for animals.)

Additionally we have to accommodate local veterinary practices - and sometimes "very different" social attitudes.

Policies on micro-chipping, early neutering and vaccination.

As far as is practicable and medically appropriate all animals that pass through our hands are vaccinated, micro-chipped and neutered/spayed before they leave us.

We strongly favour early neutering, before animals reach sexual maturity and start reproducing.

Kittens and puppies stand their best chance of being re-homed when they are young. The only way we can guarantee they will not reproduce is to neuter them before they leave our care.

In practice that means we advocate neutering at from 8 to 12 weeks for shelter animals and from 4 months for non-shelter animals, assuming the animal has reached a suitable weight.

Local veterinary practices mean this is not always possible - in such cases we rehome with a strict neutering agreement, that we follow up on assiduously.

The narcissism of small differences...

It is terribly easy for an animal welfare group to come to define itself by the tiny ways its policies differ from other similar groups doing similar things - and then magnify these differences until they take on an all consuming importance.

That's not for us. We - quite genuinely - keep our policies under constant review and will change them if we feel it is justified.