Grants Program 2017 – Lort Smith
Program Animal Welfare
Organisation Lort Smith
Project Addressing behavioural issues of animals of people in crisis
Date April 2017
The Animal Welfare grants program aims to improve how animals are coping with the conditions in which they live. In 2017, the Foundation’s focus was on improving animal welfare as it relates to people who are destitute and needy.
Lort Smith is seeking to build its capacity to meet the demand for Emergency Welfare Assistance (EWA) by investing in the professional development of Animal Welfare Officers, to obtain nationally accredited dog behaviour and training qualifications. Through its EWA program, Lort Smith supports people in crisis by caring for approximately 140 animals a year. This includes people experiencing family violence, homelessness, hospitalisation for medical or mental health issues and incarceration.
The average length of stay in EWA is 28 days with an option of foster care. Every animal is vet checked, temperament tested, vaccinated, micro-chipped and de-sexed if needed. The animals often present with behavioural issues and anxiety, requiring behavioural assessment and training before they can be placed in foster care.
Currently, two employees are accredited to assess and develop training programs. Funding from the Foundation will train additional employees, building Lort Smith’s capacity to address behavioural issues of EWA animals, which will create a more efficient pathway to foster care. This will in turn, free up capacity to accept and process more animals for a program that is in high demand.