Dogs Trust

dogs trust tempDogs Trust are the UK’s biggest rehomer of stray and abandoned dogs.

Full Annual Accounts for 2014 are readily available on the Charity Commission Website here.

The Dogs Trust do great work. But do they bully some of their staff? Read on and decide for yourself.

Dogs Trust Annual Accounts 2014 –Highlights

Annual Income = £84,743,000

Staff who earn £60,000 or more:

5 employee’s earn £60,001 to £70,000

1 employee earns £70,001 to £80,000

2 employee’s earn £80,001 to £90,000

4 employee’s earn £90,001 to £100,000

2 employee’s earn £120,001 to £130,000

1 employee earns £130,001 to £140,000

£165,000 was paid into pension schemes for these employees.

Member Of Staff Attacked

A member of staff was attacked one evening at Dogs Trusts Loughborough Centre when they entered a kennel to feed one of the dogs. They were completely on their own and had no protection other than a radio which they couldn’t get to, the dog was a Central Asian Ovcharka.

With only three other members of staff working that night, who were in completely different parts of the centre, nobody was even aware what was happening. The victim later described the attack to their Head Office as “absolutely terrifying, knowing you are on your own, completely vulnerable and know no help is coming”. The dog being the breed that it was meant they stood no chance.

Like many other staff they had received no Health and Safety training. They were also meant to receive training before being allowed with the dogs however they were in with the dog’s right from their first shift the first training they ever had was four months later. Their total training until they were attacked 16 months after they had begun working was around 30 minutes and never involved any actual dogs. No manager ever came out in that time to see how they were with the dogs, not even at their interview.

Luckily the member of staff having worked with dogs previously and having had very good training elsewhere managed to remain calm whilst being attacked and avoided giving the dog eye contact which was the only thing that saved them. They were then taken to hospital suffering with deep puncture wounds.

When they eventually returned to work they found out that Dogs Trust had already had huge concerns about this particular dog before they were attacked. The Head Behaviourist for the whole charity had assessed the dog as dangerous believing it had been used for fighting and were concerned it could cause a lot of damage to someone and had considered it to be unrehomeable then and at any point in the future.

Dogs Trust had decided NOT to share this information with staff.

Later they were told staff are never meant to see those kind of assessments.

They also found out the dog had actually tried to attack a colleague the day before they were attacked, again they had not been told.

Having spoken to a senior member of staff who informed them they were given several months of support following an accident at another Dogs Trust Centre the staff member told their Centre this, however the same was not given to them. They were given the equivalent of 3 days support where they had other members of staff walk dogs with them so they were not completely on their own before they were expected to be back doing their normal role again on their own.

Safety Concerns

Months’ later many staff were becoming increasingly concerned for their safety with accidents frequently happening but didn’t dare say anything. Staff at this time were unknowingly working with dogs that had been involved in near misses and accidents and were still not being told.

Not wanting anyone else to ever go through what they had they approached their Centre and raised safety concerns. After raising concerns they reported to their Head Office they were being intimidated and bullied.

They reported information was being said about them AFTER they raised concerns that was untrue and was being used as reasons why they shouldn’t be working for Dogs Trust anymore.

Such as:

They refused to go down to the kennels.

They had frozen in one of the managers offices and were completely unresponsive for 10 minutes.

(There was not one witness to either of these claims).

Under the Data Protection Act they also found out the following had been said and were then able to prove that they were completely untrue:

They had been bitten whilst working for a different charity and had suffered Post Traumatic Stress as a result (this never happened).

They had no recollection of the return to work interview following their accident (they were able to completely recall everything about the interview).

Their accident had also being downplayed so it read that they had just been bit and it was completely unexpected and was something that happens all the time at rescue centres.

This was said after the dog had been put to sleep by Dogs Trust (who have a non-destruct policy) on grounds of “Staff Safety due to the severity of the attack”.

Having legally being advised to obtain a copy of their RIDDOR report they discovered Dogs Trust had never legally reported the accident, four different excuses were given to them as to why this mistake had happened by different members of Head Office.

Dismissal

After raising safety concerns and reporting they were being bullied they were asked to attend a meeting to discuss their possible dismissal.

They asked their colleagues for help and staff gave witness statements saying they were afraid to help for fear of repercussions from management and for fear of losing their jobs.

In the two years they had been at Dogs Trust they had always had good reports, never been late, never had any time off sick other than for physical injuries and had got on well with every single member of staff that worked there.

Despite following protocol and having done nothing wrong nearly a year after they were attacked they were dismissed from Dogs Trust by the person responsible for the Health and Safety of the whole charity.

If you have a story about The Dogs Trust let us know.

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