Bravo faces uncertain future
December 17th, 2015
With great sadness we have to announce that Bravo is facing possible closure in the New Year.
Please read our press release below for a full overview of our current situation. Additional information can be found on our Facebook page.
To avoid closure in the New Year we need to raise £5,000. Kind volunteers have co-ordinated a Just Giving page if you can support, we are sincerely grateful for your donation.
Thank you from all at Bravo.
Specialist Rescue For Retired Working Dogs Faces Uncertain Future
A National Rescue which was set up to help resettle retired working dogs from the Police, MOD and security industries has been let down by one of its main customers and may have to close – meaning that hundreds of retired working dogs may have to be put down.
Bravo Working Dog Rescue founder, Debbie Connolly, an Animal Behaviourist with over thirty years of experience in animal rescue, training and rehoming says that the bitterest pill to swallow is the fact that the problems the rescue faces are a direct result of a volte-face by one of her biggest customers – the British Transport Police.
Debbie appeared as a Dog Training expert in the TV series "Dog Borstal" and "Britain's Most Embarrassing Pets" in addition to having many published articles, radio and TV appearances. She founded Bravo Working Dog Rescue in early 2012, as she was shocked and saddened at the fact that in the previous decade over eight hundred military dogs had been put down when their working life ended. With no specialised rescue in the UK for working dogs, Debbie wanted to offer help to the hundreds of working dogs who face an uncertain future when their service life has ended. Because of Debbie’s ethics as far as rescue is concerned, Bravo Working Dog Rescue is the only rescue affiliated to the National Animal Sanctuary Support League.
In July this year Bravo Working Dog Rescue was promised a donation of dog kennels by the British Transport Police. The kennels were confirmed in subsequent discussions as being twelve feet by five feet in area with a separate bed and run area and that there would be two blocks of four of these. These safe kennels, which are roofed, floored and could be heated, were set to make all the difference to the rescue and to Debbie’s ongoing work as an Animal Behaviourist working with private clients. This private work funds much of the rescue’s work.
With the bases complete for the new kennel blocks, private client work was delayed whilst she took further animals from the British Transport Police who took up the last kennels in her current block. This was problematic financially for the rescue but Debbie was confident that things would turn around as soon as the new kennel blocks were in place. However, Debbie has now found out that the kennels are nothing like the specification she had been promised and were little more than temporary pens, unsuitable for large dogs, and which couldn’t be used for the planned purpose.
Although the British Transport Police had been keen to use the handover of the kennels as a publicity story, they have now fallen remarkably silent and Debbie’s last email has gone unanswered. This is hard to accept taking into account that Debbie’s working relationship with the police goes back eighteen years not only in rehoming their retired dogs but also in supplying them with new ones.
With the kennels full of rescue dogs and no space for private clients, Debbie has not been able to earn an income for the last couple of months and a nasty, ongoing chest infection has compounded the issue. The future of Bravo Working Dog Rescue now hangs very much in the balance. Debbie may even face eviction from the current site (which is also her home) unless she can raise over £5,000 and find some way of financing a new kennel block as well as buying dog food and paying ongoing vets bills.
Without a specialist working dog rescue like Bravo, many working dogs would not get the help they deserve and be given a chance to become happy, loved pets or return to a working life.
Sometimes even heroes need heroes.
To make urgent needed donations to Bravo Working Dogs Rescue please go to our Just Giving page