Help for the helpless

Animal Welfare is at the core of everything we do at Assisi. We strive to reduce and ultimately stop the current destruction of companion animals in Northern Ireland.

Assisi believes that every animal has a right to the five freedoms:
• the need for a suitable environment;
• the need for a suitable diet;
• the need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns;
• the need to be housed with or apart from other animals; and
• the need to protect from pain, suffering and disease.

We believe that, for most animals, these freedoms are best delivered in suitable, loving homes. Some of the animals we care for have, or develop, chronic medical conditions. Where we can, we aim to place these animals in private foster homes, with both emotional support for the foster family and practical veterinary care for the animal, in order that we sustain and optimise the quality of life for all.

If we cannot get a home for a particular animal, we aim to continue to provides sanctuary for his/her lifetime and to continue to deliver the five freedoms to the best of our ability.

In order to achieve these ideals:
• we aim to provide the very best in modern veterinary care to our animals;
• our staff and our vets assess every animal in our charge for any illness or behavioural issue which impacts on their welfare or the safety of our staff, volunteers or the public; and
• we recognise that some animals may have medical conditions or behavioural issues which may raise specific concerns regarding public safety e.g. zoonotic disease or aggressive tendencies. We aim, in all cases, to deal with these issues as fully as possible: we recognise however that some problems may be intractable.

We recognise that there are circumstances wherein euthanasia may be the only kind option left.

Assisi will only consider euthanasia in cases of incurable illness causing ongoing suffering or where behavioural issues may put people or other animals at risk.
Any decision to euthanise an animal under our care will necessarily require a careful consultation between at least one veterinary surgeon and two trustees*, guided by those who work with the animal on a daily basis. These cases will always be rare and will be the exception to our normal practice.

*In circumstances where the veterinary surgeon judges the animal distress to be severe, and where seeking trustee consent may cause undue delay, we recognise that he/she may be required to perform the euthanasia immediately in consultation with those working with the animal on a daily basis.

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