Throughout the coronavirus situation to date the kennels has been unable to allow our usual band of volunteer dog walkers and kennel helpers onsite. It is with regret that the decision has been made for the foreseeable future to continue to keep the kennels closed to our volunteers.
For us the situation with Covid is no lesser of a risk than it was when the service was withdrawn. We still have to protect our staff base. Although a small number of volunteers a day may be a lesser risk to those visiting a small number a day is a much larger number over the course of the week for the staff to have direct contact with. On top of that we also have staff members whos families are key workers and currently placed in situation where they are high risk of coming into contact with the virus so our staff will not necessarily remain risk free for yourselves.
At the moment we are concentrating on operations which means a low level of visitors to the premises relating to rehoming by appointment only when we are satisfied that all due diligence has been able to be carried out. This has to remain our priority placing dogs into homes. The staff are already exposed to these people.
For us to be welcoming volunteers it means a whole huge amount of new policies and procedures will need to be put into place relating to and around social distancing. There is only one bathroom facility on the yard and this is used by our staff base. This area has to be cleaned and rested between each use.
When volunteers services start to resume these will need to be staggered.
The first wave of volunteers to be bought back will be those who have set days that they visit and who usually stay all day meaning they are actively involved in the clean, then move onto the walking and also help with some administration.
From there on in we will be looking to reinstate our community payback service users as we are a main service provider for these people. Once these services resume we will have to establish the basis on which they are welcomed.
From there on in dependant on a second wave or the progression of the virus we MAY look to reinstate the volunteer dog walkers but we absolutely currently have no time scale on this. It could be a number of months. The way the volunteer walkers service is run will have to come under review and we may need a rota putting into place and services will only be run between the hours of 10am and noon and the gates will then be closed.
PLEASE NOTE:- IT IS WITH REGRET THAT THIS YEAR WE WILL NOT BE SEEKING TO ACCEPT NEW VOLUNTEERS. It is very much suspected that it will take us at least till the end of this year to resume any modicum of normality.
Thank you for your patience and please understand this is based only around protection for our staff and health and safety as we have a duty of care to them alongside the dogs.
All dogs are currently being exercised daily and all welfare needs are being more than met.