A stakeholder meeting was held on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Saskatoon to discuss a new voluntary registration and certification program for rescues in Saskatchewan. A total of 38 people from 20 different animal welfare organizations attended the meeting.
This proposed program promotes the welfare of rescued and homeless animals by ensuring their physical, mental, and behavioural needs are met. A central component of the new program – “Saskatchewan Animal Rescue Standards” – has been drafted. This educational document provides a checklist of basic standards of care that are applicable for both dog and cat rescues. These rescue standards are based on the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters (2010) developed by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and the ASPCA Shelter Care Checklists: Putting ASV Guidelines into Action.
The certification process will involve a review of documentation from the rescue as well as an inspection. For large foster-based rescues, a random sample of fosters will be selected for on-site inspections to verify that they are meeting the Saskatchewan Animal Rescue Standards.
The proposed program has been developed by a Working Group comprised of representatives from animal rescues, SPCAs/Humane Societies, the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Saskatchewan SPCA.
At the meeting, attendees were asked to share their initial thoughts on the program. They felt the program was straightforward and well-thought out. The idea of a mentorship component to the program was well received. Attendees also noted that the program can help build cooperation between rescues, while raising public awareness of the valuable work being done by rescues and shelters to care for homeless animals.
The Working Group plans to meet in January to continue development of this registration and certification program.
The following documents were discussed at the Oct. 21st meeting. Rescue groups and shelters are invited to review the documents and share their input on the feedback form or through Survey Monkey.