Since March 2019 Thyrone McDaid, 42, has worked as a Dog Rehoming & Welfare Co-ordinator for leading animal welfare charity Battersea and plays a key role in helping to make sure Battersea’s dogs get a second chance in life and find their forever home. Pets4Homes caught up with Thyrone to hear about the vital work he does with rescue dogs.
Thyrone always wanted to work with dogs. He initially started out by running his own doggie day care at home, but jumped at the chance to apply to Battersea on serendipitously seeing an online ad pop up. He was delighted to be offered the role and knew that this would be something worthwhile. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Rehoming dogs for Battersea involves far more than simply matching a dog with potential homes; Thyrone took us on a tour of his day-to-day workings. The first step, once customers complete online registration, is to meet them and find out as much as possible about them and their home setup. The purpose of this meeting is also to inform, so that the potential adopters are totally in the loop when it comes to the dog’s needs. Thyrone explained why this step is so important “I need to find out as much information as possible because a lot of our dogs have very specific needs and we’re looking for the right match for them. When I register a customer and match a home with a dog, I will tell the customer everything they need to know about that dog; it’s history, background, tricky behaviours, any kind of medical needs. I give them as much information as possible so that we make sure that we are getting the dog to a good home.”
Applicants then need to meet the dog of course. Thyrone and his teammates go to great lengths to explain in detail any training that’s in place for the dog and what the owners would need to commit to after taking the dog home. Obviously it’s good for the customers to then spend time with the dog to see if it’s a good fit, and if they’re ready to take the dog home they can do that the same day after completing some paperwork. Thyrone describes this process as the highlight of his day to day work: “That’s the best part of my job doing those rehoming intros. Everybody wants to be on that duty! It’s the nice bit about the job seeing the dog go off to its new home.”
Apart from the rehoming process, there’s care and training work to be done with the dogs that are in their care at Battersea, as well as walking duties of course, which is often part of his job description. Thyrone explains to us that dogs coming from puppy farms can be particularly challenging to prepare for rehoming, having never been in a home setting. But, he also says that this is one of the most rewarding experiences he’s had since he’s worked at Battersea: “We work on site with the care group and canine behaviour and training experts, to help these dogs get ready to be rehomed. I find a customer who’s willing to take on a dog that is going to be a little bit shut down at first but when you get the aftercare emails from the customer telling you how well they’re doing, I find it really rewarding.”
It’s not always a fairytale though and Thyrone’s advice to anyone considering adopting a rescue doggie is to be prepared. “It’s a big responsibility adopting a new dog into your family. There will be costs for food, accessories, medical care and even with pet insurance it’s always a good idea to have a separate fund set aside for those big emergencies that might crop up. If you’re getting a young puppy, be prepared for sleepless nights and be prepared for the time it’s going to take to train them – it’s not an easy task and remember that there’s no quick fix.” It’s a good idea to be extremely aware of the dog’s needs, and Thyrone urges potential adopters to think about those needs and whether they can meet them, instead of just coming with preconceived ideas about the dog they want. It would be insane not to mention the benefits though too and Thyrone tells us what that means if you adopt a rescue “be prepared for all the love, cuddles and laughs you are inviting into your home. Finally, obviously I’m biased, but rescue really is my favourite breed!”
We asked Thyrone how working at Battersea has changed his perspective on dogs. He highlighted the importance of being able to read a dog's body language and how it helps a lot in understanding each individual needs. At the heart of his work and the work of Battersea is the ability to find the right home for each dog and being able to read the dog is central to that. “At Battersea it’s more about respecting each dog’s needs and understanding the dog better. Each dog deserves a second chance at life and I’m really glad to be helping find the right home for every dog that needs us.” he told us.
In his final words during our interview, Thyrone gave us his reasons why people should consider adopting a rescue dog “These poor dogs need a home more than others. Our dogs here at Battersea could be strays or they might be coming from a place where the owner is no longer able to look after the dog, often through no fault of their own. These dogs need a good home and putting money into the pocket of backstreet breeders isn’t going to help them. That’s why everyone should consider rescue dogs because these dogs haven’t had the best start in life and need a good home to go to. They may not be perfect, but they’re definitely worth it.”
Thanks to Thyrone McDaid and the Battersea press team for taking time out to tell us about their important animal welfare work and rehoming service.
Images copyright to Battersea.