Home > Animals on the Move > Work in Quarantine Kennels

Work in Quarantine Kennels

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Quarantine Kennels Pet Dog Pet

With more and more people buying holiday homes abroad, pets are packing their bags and joining their owners! The pet travel scheme (PETS) has made this easier but it’s not quite that simple.

Why do Animals Need to go into Quarantine?

Quarantine is a period of isolation. Quarantine kennels are in business to house animals coming from abroad to prevent the spread of diseases (like rabies) to the UK. The length of time spent in quarantine is usually six months; this gives sufficient time for signs or symptoms of any disease to present. (If an animal is en route elsewhere when it arrives in the UK it may be released from quarantine for immediate re-export, provided all documentation is in place.)

Why is Rabies Such a Threat?

This disease can affect all warm-blooded creatures, including people.

  • Rabies is an acute infectious viral disease.
  • It attacks the nervous system.
  • Rabies can be spread through saliva - especially by bites from infected dogs.
  • The UK is one of 30 countries classified as rabies free.
  • 40-70,000 people die from rabies each year.
These are some of the reasons why correct quarantine procedures are so important.

In Quarantine

People who work in quarantine kennels are mainly qualified vets and veterinary nurses who take the welfare of animals in their care (and those that are not) very seriously. Every animal must have an up to date immunisation record, a permanent microchip implant, vaccination against rabies and relevant blood tests. Vets will also need evidence that animals have been treated for ticks and tapeworms 24 to 48 hours prior to the start of their return journey to the UK. Owners must sign a declaration to state that their pets have not been outside any PETS countries in the previous six months.

If for any reason, animals do not meet the requirements for re-entry, they are returned to the country of origin or quarantined; without exception.

Quarantine kennels are, necessarily, run under very strict rules. Daily veterinary checks are made on the animals, there is a surgery on site and often, an animal hospital nearby. Kennels are disinfected and prepared for each new animal in advance. Quarantine kennels usually expect notice of 7 days for animals that are being imported and must go into quarantine. Flights/ferry times are given in advance too, as well as size and dimensions of the animal’s travelling kennel. This is so the right size vehicle is sent from the quarantine kennels to collect the animal or animals.

Accurate record keeping is crucial to the efficiency of quarantine. Veterinary nurses, vets and any visitors sign in and out of the premises, every time. It is important to know who has been to the quarantine kennels and when. Records of all animals, veterinary checks and so on, are strictly regulated. If there is any cause for concern (possible infection) then every person and animal can be traced and appropriate action taken.

Routine in Quarantine Kennels

The routine care of animals in these kennels is not dissimilar to that of ordinary boarding kennels. Dogs and cats still need a place to sleep, a run to exercise in, food and attention! The difference is each animal, no matter how young, cute or cuddly, has to be regarded as a potential disease carrier while in quarantine. Routine grooming and clipping can be carried out.

Kennel staff here may not form such close bonds with the animals as they would in boarding kennels, because they do not have such a high level of inter-action with them. Sometimes, though, because the animals are there for so long, staff can get very attached to them and the animals to their carers - especially if the owners don’t visit very often!

When owners do visit they are not allowed to take any bags or holdalls onto the premises, just in case. (Vets and nurses need to be firm but understanding and have good communication skills here!)

After they have signed in at the office, a member of staff will issue visitors with a bell or whistle. They are led to their pet’s enclosed unit and locked in with it. (The whistle or bell is for them to use in an emergency.) Owners are not allowed to touch any animal but their own and although they may be permitted to feed their own pets they must not feed any others.

Summary

Working in quarantine kennels requires a mature and responsible attitude to animal (and human) welfare. Qualifications are necessary because of the responsibility of the work, although unqualified but experienced general kennel staff may sometimes be employed.

Veterinary nurses, kennel maids and other members of staff must be vigilant and self-disciplined. The work is interesting and varied, but there is also an element of danger. Without quarantine kennels the threat to us and our pets would be much greater.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Caninedream
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hi. I currently run a successful licenced boarding business, but would love to start rescuing dogs. I can't seem to find any…
    23 April 2022
  • Boo
    Re: Training to be a Police Dog Handler
    How can I check out whether a dog trainer who claims to be a police dog trainer is legitimate? I think I may have been…
    3 March 2022
  • Hinck
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    "Contact Dennis or Jeanne with your ideas and proposals" Your contact details please
    8 October 2021
  • Julie
    Re: Sniffer & Police Dogs at Work
    I was wondering if SYP are still looking for spaniels aged up to 2yrs as i have one that could make a good sniffer dog .
    16 September 2021
  • forcfield
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Can someone please just tell me where to go to get my animal sanctuary started, I've been going round in circles,know exactly what…
    4 September 2021
  • Phoebe
    Re: Become an Equine Veterinary Nurse
    Hi 'm 14 years old and im currently about to go into grade 10 and starting to choose our new classes. i was wondering what…
    1 September 2021
  • Liz
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hi to Steve who wants to use his land to help@house animals.also,hi to carrina, niki&Claire.im touched that there are decent people…
    22 August 2021
  • SteveP
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hi, I have years of experience caring for animals from horses to very small birds. I have a passion for birds of prey but a love…
    7 August 2021
  • Judy
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Good morning,I would be really interested in taking in stray cats or cats that cannot be looked after anymore by there owners,I…
    19 July 2021
  • Lucy
    Re: Work With Horses: Becoming a Stablehand
    Hi, my name's Lucy and I'm 13 (14 in July). I've just moved to st Austell, Cornwall and am dying to work with…
    17 May 2021