As a founding organisation dedicated to enhancing the independence and quality of life for Veterans with mental health difficulties through the provision of specially trained dogs, Veterans With Dogs (VWD) recognises the paramount importance of ensuring exemplary welfare standards for all dogs under our care.
In our commitment to dog welfare, we emphasise not only the training aspect but also ongoing veterinary care. We provide education and training to our extended support partnerships, collaborating with healthcare professionals and care providers to highlight the role of assistance dogs in mental health.
The beginning of our approach is the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which sets the basic standards for our work at VWD. This act serves as a starting point, providing clear guidelines for everyone involved.
At every level of our programmes, we apply these fundamental elements to ensure our dogs are raised, trained, and cared for in a suitable manner. Our ultimate goal is to produce happy, confident dogs that enjoy their lives and work.
Just as humans have healthcare needs, our dogs require ongoing care as well. We have a team of professionals within our organisation who closely monitor and track all aspects of the dogs' health and welfare. They work alongside external professionals when necessary, ensuring a comprehensive and up-to-date health picture.
The welfare professionals at VWD include our approved trainers, behaviourists, veterinarians, and qualified nurses. We also have a network of referral specialists available when needed. Our aim is to maintain excellent standards of care and support for both our Veterans and our animals.
Through constant internal reviews, we continually drive and improve our standards. We set high professional benchmarks, constantly refining our procedures, policies, and working practices to uphold the highest level of care and welfare for our dogs and to better serve our Veterans.