5 Minutes with Jacqui Ferris-Woods (Westie ReHoming)
My job within the charity is Secretary, and my husband Robert is the Chairman. Having said that, all our volunteers tend to ‘muck in’ together and help as required. I am also the Webmaster. We keep the databases here at ‘head office’ and lists of dogs looking for a home, and applications to adopt a dog. I deal with administration and love the creative side of website content.
What do like most about your job?
The best part of the job is when we rehome a dog into a new situation and it is a match made in heaven. We go to tremendous lengths to match the dog and owner and the rehoming is done primarily from the dog’s point of view. We find a dog the best possible home for its needs and chances of success rather than finding people the kind of dog that they want.
What do you like least about your job?
The thing I like least is having to take a dog from a home in which it has been very happy because the owner can no longer care for it, either physically or financially. This can be very distressing indeed for all concerned and I often find it hard to hold back the tears until I come off the phone. My training as a Companion Animal Bereavement Counsellor helps tremendously in supporting the person having to give the dog up although ‘beyond the scenes’ I often worry for the family, and the dog, for some time to come. This is why it is so important to get it exactly right in placing the dog into the right home. Bereavement counselling is a very important aspect of being often a first contact for the person relinquishing the dog.
What would you do if you didn’t do your job?
If I didn’t do this job I would take up painting again – I used to paint animal portraits. I would also do more behavioural work having a great interest in animal behaviour. I also love taking photos and video of dogs which could be obvious from our website!!
Do you have a dog?
Robert and I have 6 Westies of our own and wouldn’t swap one single one of them.
What advice would you give to people looking to get a dog?
I would advise anyone getting a dog to do their research very thoroughly on their chosen breed, and do much heart searching to decide if they can really offer that dog what it needs for the rest of its life.
What is your favourite breed/crossbreed?
Our favourite breed is undoubtedly the Westie, despite its feisty, stubborn nature (or maybe because of it!).
If you would like to find out more about Westie Rehoming visit: http://www.westierehoming.me.uk