Chief Constable of Sussex Police Visits Raystede

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Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare recently welcomed the Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Jo Shiner to its site in Ringmer.

During her visit, the Chief Constable learnt more about the vital work carried out by the charity helping both animals and pet owners right across Sussex and the wider region.

Raystede continues to see an increase in the number of animals it has been asked to take in and in 2023/2024 this included over 1600 requests to surrender dogs into its care. During her tour of the kennels, the Chief Constable met Ariah, a two year-old Siberian Husky who is just one of the dogs at Raystede looking to find their forever home.

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The Chief Constable discussed the current surrender and rehoming situation for dogs with Matt Gough, Raystede’s Head of Operations and Val Suleski, Kennels Manager and learnt more about the charity’s STAR dogs. These are dogs that tend to stay a bit longer in kennels than others. This may be due to their age, size, breed type or because they have medical or behavioural care needs.

Sussex Police Chief Constable at Raystede.Sussex Police Chief Constable at Raystede.
Sussex Police Chief Constable at Raystede.

Following her meeting with Ariah, the Chief Constable then toured Raystede’s new terrapin sanctuary. This unique sanctuary has been created to care for injured and abandoned terrapins and is the only one to offer an educational experience as well as being open to the public.

Supporting people to care for their pets is an important element of Raystede’s mission and during her visit the Chief Constable found out more about the charity’s Break Away scheme.

This service offers temporary foster care for pets belonging to individuals facing crises, such as hospitalisation or fleeing domestic abuse. The Chief Constable learned about the scheme's impact on both people and their animals, emphasising the importance of such support systems in promoting public safety and well-being.

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Commenting on the visit, Stephanie Smith, Chief Executive at Raystede said: "We are thrilled to have welcomed Chief Constable Jo Shiner to visit Raystede. Her genuine interest in our work and the welfare of the animals we care for was much appreciated. Our mission is to give animals a better life, and with the support and recognition from community leaders like the Chief Constable, we can continue to expand our reach and impact."

Chief Constable Jo Shiner shared her thoughts on the visit, said: “The dedication of the staff and volunteers and the fantastic care provided to animals of all kinds is truly inspiring. Initiatives like their Break Away scheme really are essential for community support, ensuring that animals and their owners receive the care they need during difficult times.

“Most importantly, it was evident during my visit to Raystede of the team's commitment to ensuring victims of domestic abuse, who have to leave their existing circumstances, are supported by the offer to provide care for their much loved pets. They are then reassured that their pets will be looked after to an excellent standard. This is an important service, which supports victims through an extremely challenging period.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Raystede. It really was time very well spent and as an animal lover and someone with a keen interest in animal welfare, I was in my element!’

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