Following the airing of a BBC documentary featuring Dorset Dog Rescue (DDR), we have received quite a lot of enquiries about not only DDR but also more about our work with charities and rescue organisations. To help address concerns and answer some of the questions that have been raised we would ask that you read the following.

We appreciate that the subject of animal welfare is a highly emotive subject that provokes a lot of highly impassioned debate and opinions vary considerably. People are entitled to their own opinions and it is important to consider all sides in any debate and to be rational and considered in all judgements, comments and actions.

As a veterinary practice, we feel it is our utmost prerogative to remain entirely focused on the welfare and veterinary needs of the animals that are presented to us at the surgery. In our eyes, all animals are created equal – whether they are born into a highly acclaimed pedigree stud in the UK or as a stray on the streets of Romania, Greece, Ireland etc. We do not judge animals according to their breeding or background or due to their prior or current circumstances. They are entitled to the same degree of veterinary care and we will always do our best for each and every animal we see  – it is what we do.

A large proportion of the work of the practice is taken up with various charitable and not-for-profit projects and as a result this has brought us into contact with a large number of charities and rescue organisations, of which DDR is just one. We also work with numerous conservation groups, wildlife projects and have recently started a new project working with the homeless. None of this work is done for profit. Doing this sort of work is varied, interesting and rewarding and something that I have always enjoyed doing both in the UK and abroad. Being involved with work of this nature was one of the reasons I wanted to establish my own veterinary practice with the freedom to pursue these activities rather than tow a corporate line in search of shareholder profit.

To continue our charitable work it is important that we remain completely impartial and professional. We would consider it entirely inappropriate for us to get drawn into contentious debates on subjects of an emotive nature. We must focus on the welfare of the animals that are presented to us and endeavour to do our best for them – that’s all we can do.

With respect to DDR, we have no formal or official tie with them or any other organisation for that matter. We are entirely independent and are proud to be so. This allows us to advise in a balanced and unbiased manner and in the best interests of all of our patients. We are unable to police the charities that we work with and it is not our position to do so. All we can say is that we have had no reason to believe that DDR have acted improperly or that there have been any financial irregularities. As with all our rescues, they have undoubtedly helped many dogs succeed in finding a better life as a result of their efforts and they have always acted in the best interests of the animals that they have presented to the surgery. We do not think it is appropriate for us to allow ourselves to be influenced or drawn to comment as a result of social media speculation or television documentaries. Clearly the BBC documentary was edited with the intention of portraying the rescue organisation in a poor light.

We will continue to do as we have always done and uphold the highest professional and clinical standards for all our patients without prejudice. We owe it to the animals under our care to maintain this stance in pursuit of our passion to protect and improve the life of every animal we see.

Andy Matthew

Natterjacks Vet

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