Great Debate: should animal rescue shelters be required to obtain a licence?


That of Zara Brown of Patna, Ayrshire, was a shocking case. Running the privately owned Ayrshire Ark rescue shelter, she had raised large sums of money for the dogs in her care. In truth, she was the only one to benefit from those donations: while she spent the money on herself the dogs were left to live in squalor. Uncared for and starved, many of them died and the bodies of some were found in a freezer.

Prosecution was brought on following a Scottish SPCA investigation, and prompted the charity to ask for a change in legislation which would require all animal rescue shelters to obtain licences, and thus be subject to review and standards to uphold. This, they argue, would make it easier to stop people like like Brown – who, as thing stand, can keep anybody from seeing the true conditions of the animals in their care for a long, long time.

However, not everybody is keen on the idea of a licensing system for animal rescues: many argue that it would damage small charities ran by true animal lovers, forcing too much red tape and regulations on them. In short, it may mean the closure of struggling shelters over technicalities and ultimately endanger more animals than it would protect.

 Should animal rescue shelters be required to obtain a licence?

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Take part to this month's Great Debate!A shocking case of cruelty, hidden behind the façade of a privately owned…

Posted by Dogs Today Magazine on Thursday, 30 November 2017


  1. If they do away with the licensing for looking after animals wild or domestic then where we will be when you’ve got a neighbour like I have that’s looking after thousands of Rabbits taking any animal in and all I get 24 hours noise and 6 dogs or more barking, the fact is She has built 130 foot long 10 foot wide outbuildings in a domestic garden, and keeps 6 Dogs inside her front room and other animals too, turned a domestic house into an animal rescue centre, my point is what about the neighbours and all the problems and grief I get and they will get? we need licensing and a lot more should be done by the Councils they all need to get a grip on this because they don’t do enough? Please don’t get me wrong I have a shepherd and a Ragdoll cat, but there is a big deference to what my Neighbour is doing, having farr to many animals it’s clear that this sort of thing must be Licensed and the Council need to do spot checks at least once a month?


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