The Animal Control Centre soon plans to offer a diploma in Canine Management.??This follows the success of the certificate course, Introduction to Dog Care and Welfare, currently being offered by the Barbados Community College.
Animal Control Officer, Curtis Thompson said the response to the one-month certificate course had been positive with members of the Canine Division of the Royal Barbados Police Force, prison officers, pet owners and officers from the Animal Control Centre graduating since it was offered from December, last year. Classes are every Tuesday and Thursday, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Now in the planning stages, once the one-year diploma is approved, it will feature eight modules covering areas such as Report Writing and Records; Courtroom Presentations and Procedures; Identification of Dogs; Euthanasia;
First Aid for Animals; Zoonoses and Occupational Health Hazards; Photography and Videotaping; Crime Scene Investigation; and Conflict Management. Students will also be required to do a research paper on blood sports; cock fighting, dog fighting, greyhounds and bull fighting.
The certificate course will be a prerequisite for the diploma in Canine Management. The objective of these initiatives, Mr. Thompson said, was to increase the knowledge base of dog owners as well as professionals who deal with or may encounter dogs in their line of work.
"We are hoping the compassion of owners and Barbadians on a whole, will also go up a couple of notches. We would like to see what they are taught transformed into positive action in the way they treat and care for their pets. Our whole approach to canines needs to be different because they are really man’s best friend," he asserted.
Mr. Thompson said the Centre was still receiving numerous calls for collections ranging from the serious to the frivolous.
"We get calls from private homes for dogs that they could no longer afford to keep as pets, to reports on cases of abuse, to those want us to come because the dog is barking too loud or because it pulled their clothes off of the clothes line," Mr. Thompson noted.
He reminded the public that one of the "commandments" of responsible dog ownership was to choose the right type and number of dogs based on one’s lifestyle, environment and functionality.
He added that the Centre carried out its animal welfare assessments based on the five freedoms canines should be afforded. They are: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom from fear and distress and freedom to express normal behaviour.
Anyone interested in the certificate course, Introduction to Dog Care and Welfare should contact Mr. Thompson at the Centre at telephone number: 425-5559, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.