"We are long term Staffie owners and recently lost our beloved Hagar, Considering a rescue we looked on Dogs Trust Web site, They had a dog we thought suitable, rang the phone number, this was a call center not the rescue center, They had no additional info to that on the Web Site, said they would enquire as to if the dog was avaliable, I asked them to ring me back when they had some info or give me the rescue center phone number, they refused to do either and told me I would have to visit the rescue center and fill in a form. This involved a 200 + mile round trip, They could only tell me there had been two other people shown interest in the dog and I could not fill in the form via the Interweb. Theis ridiculous beaurocracy is clearly off putting to any prospective adopter THEY HAVE 100 STAFFIES ON THEIR LISTING yet are not prepared go in any small way to accommodate an experienced Staffie owner to adopt a needy dog.."
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"I was told outright that the dogs I viewed online was not suitable for me. The only dogs I was allowed to view was behind glass, no real interaction, no offer was made for me to meet any of them or the ones hidden from sight.
They have an impossibly idealistic idea of what is required to adopt one of their dogs. In the time I was there they rejected 3 out of 4 applications, myself included. They were very nice about it and said they would get in touch when they had a suitable dog for me. Months on and no phone call, apparently they have no dogs at all that need a safe, warm and loving home. They make adopting impossible. So they say they want to re-home dogs but has anyone ever passed their tick list. The TV ad is not realistic in any way. So, where do they get the money to have dogs on hold in their care, some of them for years????"
"It's a joke trying to re-home a dog from dog's trust your told it's easy is it f**k got two young children age 5 and 6 but every dog in the centre has not suitable to live with children under 16 because there to nervous
which is hardly surprising being locked in a box all day every day, your told to go look and write down the dogs you like only to be told no, no, no on them all been to the Kenilworth centre 5 times now it's time to give up not bothering now we will go private. THERE IS FAR TO MUCH RED TAPE IN RE-HOMING FROM DOGS TRUST"
"There are a few pros to working here. Most staff are lovely and helpful and really care about the dogs. It can be better than other animal charity work - they don’t put a healthy animal down which is a massive plus and are really into animal welfare and positive reinforcement. In theory it could be a great place to work. However there are many massive downsides which all boil down to a terrible centre manager, Sandra Lawton.
From my time there, here are some things which happened to me and other staff.
The centre was often short staffed due to a high staff turnaround or being off sick. The main causes of the sickness was a very high work load on the body (due to being short staffed) and the negative atmosphere. This meant that they often finished late. Sometimes it was only 30 mins late but other days it would be an hour late. 8am to 6pm with a one hour lunch break and very physical and emotional work is not great. There is also no extra pay for finishing late. It used to be so bad that every month each staff member did an extra 8 hours of work for free. The centre manager would get annoyed that the staff weren’t finishing on time but would take lieu time herself for any late work she did. The rest of the staff did not get any time back.
The staff are not allowed to use mobile phones at work and have to sign a form to say they won’t. This would be fine if the same rule applied to the centre manager who can be caught on her mobile in her office smiling at her screen while the manager browses her phone.
The dogs are very stressed in kennels and would benefit from getting out of the kennel for longer but the centre manager wants to focus on making sure the centre looks clean. Sometimes a dog is only outside the kennel 20/30 minutes in a 24 hour day which is really sad. People have suggested getting volunteers to help, however the centre manager was not keen on this idea even though we had hundreds of volunteer applications sitting for a few years. I believe that a new volunteer coordinator position has now been made by dogs trust so hopefully things will change.
The manager has chosen staff based on their gender, based on whether they will talk about what happens internally, based or whether they are already her friend. It doesn’t always matter what your skills are if you are up against one of her other wants.
A lot of the staff have had their holidays messed up by the manager. She keeps track of some holidays on a rota and some on multiple pieces of paper which she sometimes loses. Many staff have lost a couple days holiday and some have had to pay days back which means they have worked for free. This has made people really unhappy. She is also not consistent in granting holidays. Some people get holidays easier than others. This only fuels the negative working environment.
The husband of the manager has a criminal record which restricts his movement in certain locations and around vulnerable people. However in violation of this, he attended the fun day in 2016 wearing dogs trust clothes where many women and children were present.
Because of the really high work load and terrible centre manager a lot of staff leave. Nearly all of the staff that are still there are unhappy and looking for work but can’t leave without finding new work. Some wait till they go on mat leave and try not to come back. Some know that their circumstances will change and wait for that to happen. Unfortunately they are too scared and relieved when they find something new to tell the manager the truth and on paper it looks as if there was a normal reason for leaving.
The manager is dishonest about things going on in the centre. In the beginning you are fooled but over time it becomes easy to tell when the manager is not telling the truth. She also sometimes forgets her account and will tell someone else a different version in front of you forgetting what she has told you. Nobody trusts her anymore.
The manager isn’t good at forming relationships with her staff, isn’t good at bringing out the best in staff or placing them in the positions they work best in. She doesn’t treat everyone the same. She is terrible with numbers and organising things. She spends a lot of time chatting while everyone else is working. To the public and to head office she may seem fine due to her ability to chat and tell untruths very well.
The public come to rehome dogs and canine carers look for dogs for them. Each dog has a file with requirements. There are some blanket bans on some of the publics circumstances versus the dogs needs. The manager often won’t consider the experience that the public member has in order to overcome the slightly trickier situation - This can be very patronising to the member of public and also means Dogs Trust don’t rehome as many dogs as it could. It also means the dogs stay in the kennel for longer where we can’t give them everything they need so their behaviour may get worse or not improve much.
When you start working for Dogs Trust you are on probation for 6 months and have fewer employee rights and less pay. It is the managers job to have a meeting at the end of probation and talk to you and pass you. She is often late on the probation meeting meaning staff don’t get paid the higher rate when they should be doing so. With one staff member this went on for many months so she was underpaid with less security for months.
When staff do a course they get given a small cash sum for finishing it. The manager has not signed this off for many staff members meaning they never received their incentive, which is upsetting.
The canine carers work very hard and because they are often short staffed have to work harder and faster than normal and often do not have their afternoon break which they are entitled to. They are not given any recognition for doing so. There is also a lot of blame that is unfairly passed.
Sometimes the manager arrives in the morning in a bad mood. On such days people try to avoid interactions with her as much as possible. Obviously a good working environment stems from the top down and having a manager who is unable to look past their own problems hugely affects everyones morale for the entire day.
She has asked staff to do extra days of work but forgotten to tell head office in time which meant that the staff did not get paid at the end of the month for the work they did that month. As the salary is not that high this can affect the staffs life a lot.
When the manager has found out that staff have applied for other internal jobs without asking her first she has gotten angry and called them to her office in private to tell them that that would go against them in the interview which she would be at. This is bullying.
If small mistakes happen staff are very scared of the managers reaction. Which is always one of anger and tightening control further. There is a very negative atmosphere when she is at work and staff breath a sigh of relief on days she is not there. Staff are scared to use their own initiative or come up with ideas to problems for fear of being told off by her. It is toxic. Staff are so scared of her some have reported feeling sick in the stomach when they hear or see her.
This is only a tiny portion of what is happening every day at the centre. Working there under such terrible management is very hard to do. Most people either quit or some long termers stay because they care about the dogs they have formed relationships with. The part time staff find it easier to stay due to only being there a couple days a week."
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