Meet the Team: Kara Carver (Dog Welfare Officer)

Posted 7 years ago in the Meet the team category

Get to know Dog Welfare Officer Kara as she answers questions about her role within the Dog Welfare Team.

Kara Carver Dog Welfare Officer at Canine Partners

Working with dogs is hugely enjoyable, and needless to say that all of our staff are dog lovers. Whilst most of the Canine Partners team spread across the UK will see at least one waggy tail a day, our Dog Welfare team members will see quite a few more!

So let’s hand it over to Kara Carver to share what it’s like being a Dog Welfare Officer at our Southern Centre in Heyshott, West Sussex.

What is your job title and what are your responsibilities?

My job title is Dog Welfare Officer and my role involves looking after all aspects of the health and welfare of the dogs in Advanced Training. The aim of my job is to ensure the dogs are fit and healthy enough to continue in the training program and resolve any health issues they may have before being partnered.

The role is very varied and includes weekly grooming, health checking and weighing of the dogs. We are responsible for the dogs weight whilst in training and set them a target weight/ideal weight when they arrive, and adjust their feed amounts accordingly as and when required. We make sure all the dogs are vaccinated and regularly treated for fleas, worms and ticks and record this information in their file. We take the dogs to the vet should they need to go and administer any medications that they require.

A very important part of the role is to teach our partners how to care for their new dog so we deliver health and grooming lectures for them whilst they are taking part on On Site Training. We prepare them with all the relevant information and paperwork they need before they go home and answer any health or grooming questions they may have.

Cleaning is a big part of our job and we have monthly kennel checks to ensure our standards remain high. Toileting the dogs at regular intervals in accordance with their training routine again is another important part of the job and essential in helping develop a good toileting routine before the dog is partnered .

We provide enrichment for the dogs whilst they are kennelled – they love our famous pilchard cake that we make here ourselves, and assist in exercising them when needed. As the dogs are in training a lot, we highlight any training/behaviour issues to the dogs trainer and assist in creating and implementing regimes to overcome these.

We have also recently taken over the re-homing of all of the withdrawn dogs throughout the charity. This involves answering any initial enquires, updating and maintaining the waiting list, organising meet and greets with the dogs and potential new owners, carrying out home checks and providing a level of aftercare once the dog is re-homed.

What experience do you have in this area?

When I got the job as Dog Welfare Officer I had no previous experience in this field. I have always had family/pet dogs and a keen love for animals and was looking to get into the profession.

My previous jobs included care for the elderly and working in a nursery for children aged 2-4 years.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

The most rewarding part of working here at Canine Partners is being able to see first-hand what an amazing job these dogs do and how they really do transform people’s lives.

We are lucky enough to work closely with the dogs, the trainers and the partners so we get to see the dogs progression in training and see them improve week on week.

We also get to witness the bond developing between the partner and the dog and this is something that never gets old. I am always surprised at how quickly they get attached to one another and this is simply lovely to see.

What is the biggest challenge within your role?

I would say the most challenging part of my job is getting up in the morning as its quite an early start for us in Dog Welfare at 7:30am – but it’s all worthwhile when I arrive to lots of wagging tails.

Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

Walking my own little woofers, and I am looking to start an art project in the near future.

What do you get up to on your days off?

On my days off I like to have a lay in! I also enjoy visiting family and friends, going to the cinema and eating lots of food!

I am currently expecting my first child so I am busy preparing the nursery and very much looking forward to becoming a mummy.

Interested in working for Canine Partners?

Keep an eye on our Vacancies page as well as our Facebook and Twitter to find out about roles as they become available.

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